Let’s work together to raise breast cancer awareness in the city.
October 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. In this Sassy Supports, we shine a light on Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organisation that dedicates itself to advocating for better breast cancer care in the city.
Founded in 2005, the HKBFC has been working to mitigate the threat of breast cancer to the local community through education, patient support, research and advocacy. We spoke to HKBCF Chairman Eliza Fok to learn more about the foundation and how we can help raise breast cancer awareness in Hong Kong.
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Tell us about your organisation. What does the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation do?
Dr. Polly Cheung was inspired to set up 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 just as important as medical treatment. This is a lesson the HKBCF holds dear.
Since 2005, the charity has provided 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 (and 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.
Earlier this year, the HKBCF celebrated the opening of the foundation’s Lymphedema Care Centre. According to the HKBCF data, about 30 percent of breast cancer patients may develop lymphoedema, characterised by swollen and painful upper limbs after breast surgery and radiotherapy. In view of the physical and psychological pain associated with the condition, the HKBCF made itself the first non-profit organisation in Hong Kong to introduce professional and holistic lymphoedema care services.
Why is breast cancer awareness critical?
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!). As with most cancers, early action is the most effective form of prevention. The good news is breast cancer is curable.
The survival rate for patients with Stage I breast cancer is 97.5 percent within five 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 support the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation?
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. Don’t miss the HKBCF’s signature fundraising event, Pink Walk, which will be taking place at the Peak on Sunday, 15 October. Not only is it a great opportunity to support the foundation’s ongoing efforts, but also an important reminder for people to stay breast aware, as insufficient exercise is the biggest risk factor of breast cancer. Today is the registration deadline, so be sure to sign up here if you want to join in!
Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation, www.hkbcf.org
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@example.com and we’ll try our best to feature them in one of our upcoming Sassy Supports!