Total engagement in fight against breast cancer

The Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) applauds the launch of the $1.2 million fund by Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway Cancer Centre to help needy Singaporeans with their breast cancer treatment ("$1.2m fund to help needy cancer patients"; March 16).

BCF's mission is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.

This commendable initiative complements the BCF Encouragement for Active Mammograms (Beam) programme.

Developed in partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB), Beam provides fully subsidised mammogram screening for needy Singaporean women in accordance with HPB's BreastScreen programme, while educating them to get screened regularly.

Beam Phase 2 is a $2 million fund that addresses the needs of 35,000 women over five years (2014-2019).

BCF's ultimate aim is to raise awareness of breast cancer among all in our community.

At the same time, we strive to provide a strong support programme to engage and inspire survivors and their affected families.

The counselling and support group sharing, empowerment and Healing Through the Arts programmes are carefully planned to suit our community, taking into account cultural sensitivities.

Key to the support pillar for all women is the men in their lives. BCF is one of the few breast cancer advocacy groups in the world with a Men's Support League - emphasising men's important role in society's fight against this affliction and in raising awareness for regular screening for all women.

With the strong commitment of both public and private hospitals that we work with, and partners such as Parkway Cancer Centre, HPB, National Cancer Centre, Singapore Cancer Society and National Healthcare Group Diagnostics, we can collectively make a difference in saving lives and breasts through early detection.

The public's overwhelming response to our Pink Ribbon Walk and Wear the Pink Ribbon Campaign during the Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October has heightened the passion for the cause.

The recent International Women's Day also reminds us of women's pivotal roles in our society. When a woman falls victim to breast cancer, her family, friends and colleagues suffer.

Society is starting to treat breast cancer as a societal issue, not just one affecting those struck with the illness.

As BCF continues its mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease, education and total engagement are at the forefront of our initiatives.

It is, thus, heartening to see programmes helping society make strides on this front, especially for the less fortunate in Singapore.

Noor Quek (Mrs)
Breast Cancer Foundation

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Total engagement in fight against breast cancer'. Print Edition | Subscribe