“Every 19 seconds, someone in the world gets diagnosed with breast cancer. It strikes one in 19 women,” explains Dr Jendana Chanyaputhipong, PanAsia Surgery Group’s breast surgeon. And if those eye-opening statistics weren’t enough to prompt you into making an appointment, know that early detection is your number one protection.
An early stage of breast cancer may show no symptoms and can only be detected through screening. If treated at an early stage, there is a 95 percent success rate for treatment. “Patients often live a long life, we are talking about 20-30 years, with adequate and appropriate treatment,” Dr Jendana says.
Though clear-cut as it seems, many women shun breast screening. Participation rate is low for Singapore’s national breast cancer screening programme. A survey by the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) last year revealed that only 45 percent of the 1,005 participants perform breast self-check examinations and for medical checkups.
The thought of screening is enough to strike fear. PanAsia Surgery Group divulged that some women think it’s unnecessary due to their healthy lifestyles and lack of family history; others deem it embarrassing or are generally afraid of diagnosis. One can understand the need for open conversation — Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the best time for this.
The annual campaign occurs every October in various countries across the world and encompasses all voices. Not only does it advocate early detection, it’s also a show of unity for women in the throes of treatment, caregivers and the triumphant survivors. The onus is on all of us to continue the conversation on breast cancer, whether within our communities or online. Here’s how else you can support the cause.
Get your pink on
The simplest thing you can do is to don a pink ribbon. It’s a symbol of hope for victims, a sign of solidarity and a way to spark the conversation on breast cancer. Your little pink pin may just empower someone to book a screening appointment.
Make a direct donation
In Singapore, non-profit organisation BCF is committed to raising awareness for early detection of the disease through talks, publications and events. It also supports survivors and their families through counselling and training. A donation goes a long way into supporting the foundation’s initiatives.
Shop for a cause
This year, The Estée Lauder Companies continues the battle with breast cancer through a global campaign called #TimeToEndBreastCancer. Evelyn H.Lauder was the co-creator of the Pink Ribbon and founded the company’s Breast Cancer Campaign and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The campaign’s mammoth efforts over the years have duly paid off, having raised more than $76 million internationally and funding 250 medical research grants. Supporting its mission is a host of beauty brands under its wing, which channels some of its proceeds to BCRF. Here they are:
1. Bobbi Brown Pinks with Purpose Lip Colour Duo
Available in an everyday shade of pale nude and a classic rouge, this duo of lipsticks are semi-matte and offer minimal shine with maximum hydration. For every purchase, Bobbi Brown will donate $23 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
2. Estée Lauder Limited Edition Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
Four weeks is all it takes for users of this serum to achieve healthier, younger-looking skin. Now available in a limited edition shade of hot pink, the cult skincare product instantly adds hydration and boosts hydration. Every purchase will see $20 donated to BCRF.
3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
‘Dramatically different’ is a mighty result to promise, but this fast-absorbing lotion does an impressive job of softening, smoothing and leaving skin with a healthy glow. With every purchase, Clinique will donate S$15 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
4. La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water
Don’t underestimate makeup removal’s importance to your skincare routine. A single swipe of La Mer’s powerful seacleanser removes impurities, while hydrating and renewing tired skin. A bottle’s purchase equates to a $19 donation to BCRF.