Novartis Malaysia offers ‘smile’ and ‘hope’ to breast cancer victims/survivors

IN conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, innovative healthcare solutions provider Novartis Malaysia has joined forces with the Medical Education Association of National Cancer Institute (NCI) to inspire and honour the strength and survivorship of breast cancer patients, especially those within the public healthcare system.

In recent times, Malaysia’s public healthcare has improved with better inroads for breast cancer patients to access the latest innovative therapies like targeted therapies.

This campaign aimed to inspire and provide hope to breast cancer patients, including advanced breast cancer (aBC) patients, will be accorded for a better quality of life with early screening as well as access to treatment and targeted therapies.

Themed Senyuman dan Harapan (Smile and Hope), the programme kickstarted on Oct 17 by featuring a series of activities and an exhibition showcasing inspiring artworks from breast cancer survivors.

Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) namely Kenwork and Yayasan Budi Penyayang participated in the campaign, too. These artworks serve as a platform for patients to inspire others by sharing their experiences living with aBC.

The installation and exhibition artworks displayed will be permanently located at Galeri Senyuman dan Harapan at Level 4 of NCI. Anchoring the gallery is a beautifully handcrafted Pohon Harapan (Tree of Hope) by KakiSeni with inspirational messages by the artist and breast cancer patient.

The Galeri Senyuman dan Harapan was launched in the presence of Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia’s chairman Nori Abdullah (wife of Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin).

“Apart from re-imagining medicines to improve and extend people’s lives, Novartis is also committed to re-imagining hope for breast cancer patients,” commented Novartis Malaysia & Brunei country president Elwakil Mohamed.

“Our purpose is to educate, inspire and empower breast cancer patients to not lose their hope as there are progressive treatments available that have shown positive results.”

“In the recently launched National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Programme 2021-2025, there were requests to include new targeted therapies in the Health Ministry’s Formulary. Our collaboration with NCI is the perfect way to showcase the indomitable spirit of those battling breast cancer or beating the disease,” he added.

NCI director Dr Mohamed Anis Haron described the collaboration with Novartis Malaysia as important in raising breast cancer awareness, particularly on early screening and innovative therapies that provide quality of life.

“Despite the prevalence of breast cancer in Malaysia, understanding of this remains low. I hope this initiative with Novartis Malaysia will revive the patients’ spirit in accessing the right screening and treatment,” he enthused. – Oct 26, 2022

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