AT TAYLOR'S: Philip Gan (CheeKeat.Gan@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (info@breastcancer.org.my)
On October 2014, diploma students of Communication (DICM) under School of Communications (SOC) in Taylor’s University organized a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at the Lakeside Campus. The three-day event was held in conjunction of the Pink Ribbon Campaign month in October, to raise awareness of breast cancer, a highly curable disease if detected early. October is breast cancer awareness month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research.  The students of Event Management class, partnered with the Breast Cancer Welfare Association of Malaysia (BCWA) to educate staff and students on the awareness of Breast Cancer.
Under the guidance and leadership of lecturer, Mr Philip Gan, the event saw the communication students set up booths to educate visitors of both male and female with breast cancer. The hands-on workshops on breast examinations attracted many of the visitors. Here they learned how to perform routine self-examinations at home. Throughout the event, pink merchandise like badges, socks and many others were sold with 100 percent of the proceeds going to BCWA. There was also a mini exhibition on activities by BCWA as well as items such as wigs used by cancer survivors and fake breast implants.
“This campaign benefits not only all of us, but also our loved ones as well. It was definitely an eye-opener to both men and women. The activities held during the campaign gave us so much information about the disease and I also learned ways of detecting it at an early stage, and how to prevent it,” said Sam Lee, a student organizer for the event. Martin Young, another student who organized the event shared, “I see this project as something that is more than just a compulsory course assignment for all of us. I have learned so much from the Pink Ribbon Awareness Week, especially that even males can have breast cancer. So I hope people are more aware to do their monthly check-up or self-breast examination at home, because early detection saves lives.”

For Corrine Kong, the project war particularly relevant as her mother is a breast cancer survivor, “When I heard about this project, I had no hesitation about which direction to go. My mum was all along supporting and guiding me. It seemed like a golden opportunity to spread awareness of this issue to others and provide them with information about breast cancer,” she noted. Breast cancer is the number one cancer among Malaysian women. According to the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), one in 19 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. About 4,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, mostly between 35-60 years old with 40% affected below the age of 50. It is rare, but men can also develop breast cancer.

While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. The activities held during the awareness week were aim to create a better understanding about breast cancer and to teach staff and students how to take control of the situation and be a fighter should a loved one or themselves be diagnosed with it. For more information about the Pink Ribbon Awareness Week, contact Mr Philip Gan at CheeKeat.Gan@taylors.edu.my 

Written by Cristia Janto (cristia.janto@yahoo.com)