Breast Cancer Awareness Month @ LBS

LBS Happenings
Breast Cancer Awareness Month @ LBS





Posted in Happenings


Breast Cancer – It’s Just a Word!

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells that are supposed to die don’t, they instead divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue, called tumor. This can be very intimidating for most people, if not everyone. To be diagnosed with cancer would feel like a death sentence. However, it is important to note that not all tumors are cancerous. A biopsy will be done to determine this.

It often starts from one specific area, but has the ability to spread throughout one’s body, making it the second-leading cause of death in the world. Cancer is caused by accumulated damage to genes that may be due to chance or to exposure to a cancer-causing substance. Cancer is dangerous as it may kill by invading key organs like the intestines, lungs, brain, liver, and kidneys; and interfering with body functions that are necessary to live. With today’s technology, cancer treatment often saves lives, especially when the cancer is found and treated early.

A cancer diagnosis can have a huge emotional impact on most patients. Changes in body image can affect one’s self-esteem and confidence. Physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or extreme tiredness also seem more likely to cause emotional distress. The fear of death, suffering, pain, and all the unknown things that lie ahead can also contribute to it. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing experience.

The disease however affects not only the person diagnosed, but also those who care about that person. Finding out a loved one has cancer can be overwhelming. Family and work roles may be altered. When a friend or loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it’s an emotional time. Caregivers may be afraid of losing their loved one. They may also feel angry because someone they love has cancer, frustrated that they “can’t do enough”, or stressed because they have to take on more at home.

Going through cancer treatments can put a strain on not just the patient, but also their loved ones too, especially caregivers. Cancer news is often times unexpected, and albeit having to go through a mental shock, caregivers often have to force themselves to process everything ever so quickly so they can be there for their loved one to give them the moral support they need. Their emotional and mental state would get worse if their loved one loses their battle with cancer. Considering it as a “death before their time”, caregivers would often feel like they need to go through the rest of their lives feeling aggrieved, even though in actuality they shouldn’t feel that way and know that they’ve done their very best to help.

As for the warriors, surviving their battle with cancer doesn’t necessarily mean going back to their old lives. Cancer treatments would take a toll on their body. They have to rebuild their immune system, constantly watch what they eat, be on medication, and consistent medical check-ups for the rest of their lives. If they’re not careful, they might end up feeling frustrated and this would put a strain on their mental health. It is important for survivors to take things one day at a time and to not rush themselves.

Cancer is proof that the disease is not only harmful to the person diagnosed, but it can also affect our society as a whole. Patients with cancer and their families often experience an enhanced need for social support, with emotional support being one of the most important. Social support has been found to be empirically related to influencing health outcomes.

Ironically, cancer may often undermine one of the strongest potential resources people have in coping with the disease – their social relationships. In fact, the social relationships of the cancer patient may not only fail to buffer them against the stress of cancer, but may provide additional source of distress (Wortman, 1984, p. 2341). This is why it is highly important for a cancer patient to have a strong support system when going through the entire ordeal. Having a support system will boost their fighting spirit. They will feel loved and needed and this will strengthen their will to live, thus heal.

Based on a research done by the American Institute for Cancer Research, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries contributing to 25.4% of the total number of new cases diagnosed in 2018. Seeing how this remains as the most common cancer year after year, October has been made as the breast cancer awareness month as to help increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment, as well as palliative care of the disease.

This worldwide awareness campaign is also recognized in Malaysia. With the help of local NGOs such as the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) and National Cancer Council Malaysia (MAKNA), more people are becoming aware each year, raising the level of donation related NGOs receive to help ease the burden of cancer patients; and also increasing the number of women realizing the importance of monthly self-breast exams, yearly breast ultrasound, and mammogram for women above 40 years old.

In support of breast cancer awareness month campaign, the staff of LBS Bina Group (LBS) will be wearing pink ribbon in hope to create conversations and educating more people on the issue. Although breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, it may also affect men, albeit the risk is rare in males at around 1 in 1000. LBS are scheduling a talk with a qualified doctor so their staff will have a clearer picture on what is breast cancer. They hope their efforts will not only raise awareness on the issue, but also empower cancer warriors, ensuring them that there is life after breast cancer.

            The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons and the pink color in general have been used since its inception in 1982. It identifies the wearer or promoter with the breast cancer brand and expresses moral support for women with breast cancer.

 

 

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