Let’s work together to raise breast cancer awareness in the city!
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign which aims to increase awareness of the disease that affects millions of women (and men!) around the world every year. We’d be remiss not to shine a light on the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation (HKBCF), who are constantly working to advocate for better breast cancer care in the city.
The HKBCF was set up in March 2005 as a non-profit charitable organisation dedicated to mitigating the threat of breast cancer to the local community through education, patient support, research and advocacy. As with most cancers, early action is the most effective form of prevention. We spoke to HKBCF Chairman Eliza Fok (pictured below, right) to learn more about the charity and what we can do to help raise breast cancer awareness in the Hong Kong.
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Tell us about your charity. What does the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation do?
Dr. Polly Cheung (pictured above, left) founded the HKBCF because of a patient she met. The patient had fought through many difficult and painful treatments to survive stage II breast cancer, but later ended her own life due to the emotional trauma of mastectomy. To breast cancer patients, psychological support is equally important as medical treatment. This is a lesson the HKBCF holds dear.
Since 2005, the charity has been providing patient support services to breast cancer patients, survivors and their families. In 2010, the HKBCF founded its own Breast Health Centre, a clinic that offers quality breast screening services at an affordable fee (or for free for underprivileged women). The HKBCF also conducts breast cancer-related research and uses this to support its advocacy for better breast cancer policies in Hong Kong.
Due to COVID-19, the HKBCF transformed its annual charity walkathon to take place virtually – Pink Together 2020. Through this event, the charity hopes to get every woman in town to be breast aware – meaning that they stay vigilant about monitoring the condition of their breasts and undertake regular breast screening. It also encourages them to do more physical activity amid the pandemic as lack of exercise is one of the most common breast cancer risk factors.
Why should we care?
Breast cancer is the number one cancer among women in Hong Kong and it affects one in 15 women in the city (and can also affect men!).
The good news is breast cancer is curable. The survival rate for patients with Stage I breast cancer is 97.5% within 5 years. With regular breast screening, breast cancer can be detected and treated at an early stage. This is why breast awareness is important – if every woman is aware of the benefits and importance of regular breast screening, they would be able to detect breast cancer while there is still a chance to fight it.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good opportunity to remind women to establish the habit of regular breast screening, which will lower their chance of having to undergo invasive treatment and financial burden.
How can we help?
As the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation does not receive any financial support from the government, your support means a lot to women in the community, and especially to breast cancer patients. This year, we are holding our signature fundraising event – Pink Together 2020. It’s not only a great opportunity to support the HKBCF, but also an important reminder for people to stay breast aware, as insufficient exercise is the biggest risk factor of breast cancer. Join us at www.pinktogether.hk and get moving now!
Editor’s Note: Charities are constantly looking for volunteers, donations and support – and they need it now more than ever. To help them during this difficult time, we’re putting a spotlight on a different charity each month. If you’re a charity, or know of one that could use a shout-out, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] and we’ll try our best to feature them in one of our upcoming Sassy Supports!
All images courtesy of the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation.