New lung cancer campaign hoped to encourage conversation, promote early diagnosis

September 9, 2020
New lung cancer campaign hoped to encourage conversation, promote early diagnosis

The “Knowing Lung Cancer” awareness campaign has just been jointly launched by the Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM), the Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS), and the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), to increase lung cancer awareness among Malaysians and encourage more open dialogue among those with lung cancer, their caregivers, and other high-risk groups.

The integrated education campaign will run primarily on LCNM’s social media (Facebook and Instagram) platforms as these have wider reach among the public. The organisers aim to offer educational content about lung cancer which is expected to promote early detection and proper treatment for the disease, as well as support for those affected.

“Through this campaign, we want to encourage more conversations between lung cancer patients or high-risk groups and their General Practitioners (GPs) for swift diagnosis and effective treatment.” explained cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Anand Sachithanandan, Co-founder of LCNM.

“There is an important need to talk about lung cancer more extensively in this country: lung cancer is no longer just a male smoker’s problem or a taboo subject. It is affecting more everyday Malaysians, and the public needs to be aware that lung cancer is preventable and potentially curable if detected at an early stage. The sooner we change mindsets, the sooner we will able to build an informed society that is able to recognise the symptoms for early detection and timely treatment.”

Lung cancer, though a common cancer in Malaysia, is not easy to detect early on because its symptoms get brushed off as typical ailments from stress or a sedentary lifestyle. Most patients are only diagnosed in late stages when the cancer cells have already spread to different parts of the lungs, lymph nodes, or even other organs, to cause complications.

Early detection is therefore crucial, as it allows for timely treatment for lung cancer and ultimately enables people to slow down their disease progression, manage their condition better, live much longer, and have a better quality of life.

The campaign will also address other issues that come with living with lung cancer and how best to handle it. These includes video talks on how to cope with lung cancer diagnosis, mental health for people with lung cancer and their caregivers, and choosing the most suitable treatment.

Dr. Muhammad Azrif Ahmad Annuar, President of MOS and Consultant Oncologist shared that,“Through the campaign, we hope to be able to empower people with the knowledge on how cancer is treated and what it is like to live with the disease. The treatment landscape for lung cancer has evolved tremendously over the years, with newer treatments such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy, which has enabled positive results in achieving better prognosis and quality of life for people living with lung cancer.”

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