Grant to help Kuching cancer awareness group boost rural outreach

KUCHING: The Society for Cancer Advocacy and Awareness Kuching (SCAN) has received a grant from the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) for its breast cancer outreach project in rural Sarawak.

SCAN's year-long project aims to increase survival rates for women with breast cancer by training frontline health personnel to recognise the signs and symptoms of breast abnormalities through clinical breast examinations.

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The aim is to improve early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, when treatment is more feasible, affordable and effective and survival rates are higher.

Adviser Datin Dayang Mariani Abang Zain said SCAN was honoured to be one of 15 organisations worldwide selected for the grant, which addresses health promotion, early detection and timely diagnosis under the World Health Organisation's global breast cancer initiative.

"We look forward to getting the project off the ground so that we can help our women, especially those in the remote areas of Sarawak, to have access to early detection and treatment and to close the gap in cancer care.

"We are also grateful to the Sarawak Breast Cancer Support Group for agreeing to work with us on this project," she said in a statement on Monday (Oct 3).

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SCAN committee member and project leader Dr Melissa Lim said rural populations were usually diagnosed at later stages and less likely to receive timely or appropriate treatment to improve their chances of survival.

"The lack of prevention, screening and treatment services often involves logistics issues, financial burden and lack of awareness.

"Our duty as patient organisation groups is to make sure that no one is left behind," she said.

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