How Keningau breast cancer support group came about
Published on: Friday, November 08, 2019
By: Johan Aziz
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KENINGAU: I was diagnosed in January of 2018 and my tumour was detected by Dr Jutinih here in Keningau, said Chairman of Keningau Kinabalu Pink Ribbon (KKPR) Support Group, Yvonne Dumpangol , when she began her speech at the launch of KKPR at the Sabah Handicraft Centre here.

“Thank you Dr Jutinih, she is here this morning with us. Within 10 days I had my operation and treatment a month after. 

“During my months of recuperation, my cousin brought a member of the Kinabalu Pink Ribbon (KPR) to visit myself. It was through Mrs Rainty Tioh that I realised there was more to life than this illness.  

“A few months later by invitation of Mrs Regha, or I fondly call her Aunty Monica, I met Hajah Natrah (Datuk Arif) and a few other members or survivors and volunteers of KPR. A friendship was formed with my “Pink Sisters”.

“Then one day Hajah Natrah mooted the idea of setting up a support group here in Keningau,”she said. 

Yvonne said, this morning this idea and vision has materialised. She thanked everyone for their support for attending the function. 

“It shows that they are one at heart in helping many women, either from their own family members or the community at large, most especially those in rural areas or kampungs who many today still do not understand nor comprehend this disease.

She said, statistics showed especially in the interior district that covers Tambunan, Keningau, Sook, Nabawan, Sepulut, Salung and Tenom, most cancer patients are detected of having the disease when it is already at stage three or stage four.  And in many cases the cancer would have mestasised or destitute to other organs in the body.

 “A report from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu said there were 99 breast cancer cases in 2012 wile in 2016, 178 cases and Sept 2018, 153 cases. The statistics were only up to Sept 2018 and include only women who have been treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“In addition, the statistic for the entire Malaysia said that the top three cancers among Malaysian women are breast (32.1pc), colorectal (10.7pc) and cervix (7.7pc).

“As you can see, breast cancer is the most common among women.  And I am very sure many of us know of at least one person who has breast cancer. 

“Many of you would have read in the newspapers or social media that our Prime Minister’s wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah at 93 was herself diagnosed (with the disease) in March this year.

“This disease unfortunately does not discriminate age.  It can happen to a 25-year-old woman or to a 93-year-old as in the case of Tun Dr Siti Hasmah. We thank Tun Siti for sharing her illness with the public,” she said.

Yvonne said, KKPR vision as a support group is to provide emotional and psychological support to all breast cancer survivors and their families.

She said, it is important to educate and empower breast cancer survivors after their treatment so that they can have an improved quality of live. 

And more importantly, she said, is to raise public awareness and educate the public with the emphasis on early detection.

She said that KKPR ultimate goal is “Early Detection Save Lives” or “Pengesanan Awal Menyelamatkan Nyawa”

“With that, I hope we can work hand-in-hand with government departments, schools, NGOs and the public in general to teach young girls on the importance of self-examination.  

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous sponsors for this event namely Puan Regha @ Monica Anandan, David Lin, John Ng, Osman Hitam and not forgetting Sabah Handicraft Centre for assisting in the setting up this hall. Let us join hands and help save the lives of many women in our district,” she said.

More than 100 women including Kinabalu Pink Ribbon President, Nancy Tham, Director of Keningau Hospital, Dr Loly Mealony Geoffrey, Puspanita Keningau branch Chairman, Prof Dr Kathy Khadizah Osman, Sabah Handicraft Centre Manager, Vivian Evans, KKPR Chairman, Yvonne Dumpangol, former President of Kinabalu Pink Ribbon, Hajah Natrah Datuk Arif, Chairman of Pertubuhan Sinar Wanita Sabah (Persiwas), Datin Rufinah Pengeran and Deputy Chairman of Kenngau District Council, Raymond Koh were present at the event.



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