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“Debunk the Myths” — World Cancer Day

A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. Building on the success of last year’s campaign, World Cancer Day 2014 will focus on reducing stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline “Debunk the myths”. Greater awareness and education about cancer can lead to positive change at an individual, community and policy level and across the continuum of cancer care. It will also serve to send the message out that being diagnosed with cancer is not a death sentence and that cancer is treatable.

Towards this end, the Malaysian Gynecological Cancer Society (MGCS) and KPJ ISH (Ipoh Specialist Hospital) have organised a health awareness campaign, mainly regarding obesity, diabetes, hypertension and abnormal blood cholesterol levels (dyslipidemia). At the same time, with regards to the linked risks of having certain cancers in these patients, the campaign will serve to promote cancer awareness among those living in Ipoh and educate them on the risk factors, screening methods and management of cancers.
             This will therefore be a 2-pronged approach. First – creating awareness and educating people on the dangers of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and all other associated problems, and secondly – triggering the awareness and dispelling the myths related to cancer as well.
Obesity, diabetes and hypertension are three of the most common curses of the modern world and form the major causes of deaths in patients all over the world. In Malaysia, problems with the cardiovascular system and the lungs are the top two killers in all hospitals.
Not only are these diseases dangerous in their own right, studies have also shown that this triad of problems also cause higher risks of having certain cancers such as: cancers of the breasts, ovaries, endometrium (the lining of uterus) and colorectal cancer. Cancers as a whole are the number 4 leading cause of death in Malaysia.
A whole slew of activities have been scheduled for this Cancer Awareness Programme, spearheaded by three energetic oncologists at KPJ ISH Ipoh who have been working hard behind the scenes to put the programme together. The trio, led by Dr Lum Wan Wei the resident Radiologist and Oncologist who has been with KPJ ISH since 2006; Dr Nawaz Hussain B. Mohamed Amir, who joined KPJ in April 2013 as a Resident Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon whose niche and clinical focus is bone and soft tissue tumour; and Dr Zamzida Yusoff who is an Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialist with a special niche and clinical focus in Gynae-Oncology and Palliative Care. Dr Zamzida is no stranger to Ipoh having worked as an O&G Specialist in Hospital Ipoh between 2003 to 2006 and subsequently from 2009 to 2012, she was a Consultant Gynae-Oncologist for Hospital Ipoh and Perak state. In addition to being a Sessional Consultant at KPJ Ipoh since early 2013, she was also a Senior O&G Lecturer at UniKL RCMP.
“We’re putting this programme together to not only create public awareness about Cancer but that KPJ ISH has a complete team of specialist consultants with the expertise and knowledge to manage most cancers that are presented to us. We are able to work as a team and we strive to give the best care possible to all our cancer patients,” said Dr Lum.
The World Cancer Day Awareness programme will start off with a free public health screening programme at Mydin Hypermarket in Meru Raya on February 7 to 9, where KPJ ISH consultants supported by nurses, dieticians and hospital chefs will be giving health consultations and tips to members of the public. A carnival like atmosphere is anticipated as cooking demonstrations will be showcased by ISH chefs twice a day, with dietary advice and consultations provided by ISH dieticians while games and quizzes on healthy lifestyle and cancer awareness will keep the public engaged and informed. 
An exhibition and Health Trade Fair for the public from 9am-5pm is planned on Saturday February 15 in the KPJ ISH parking lot and lobby. This will be a one-stop centre where all relevant health care players can highlight their products and services to the public and where the public in turn can obtain all the information they need in one place. There will also be a lunch talk for doctors at Dewan Anugerah on the 5th floor on the same day followed by a public forum on Common Cancers in Malaysia from 2.30-5pm also at the same venue.
Poignant moments are in store as cancer survivors and their families share their stories at the close of the day (5-5.30pm). To honour their fighting spirit and having overcome their disease, KPJ ISH will be distributing gifts and mementoes to five cancer survivors and their families.
Members of the public may get more information from: Dr Zamzida Yusoff; Tel: 05 240 8777 Ext 8504 or PR department: 05 240 8777 email: erma@ish.kpjhealth.com.my.  

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