Dr Siti Hasmah Shares Her Breast Cancer Story To Encourage Women To Go For Screening
Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali recently shared her experience undergoing surgery in March this year to remove a breast lump
She shared her experience in a speech while launching KL Pink October 2019 at Hospital Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 15 October.
According to Dr Siti Hasmah, doctors confirmed that she had a small lump in her left breast after she underwent a mammogram and biopsy
"The doctor advised me to remove the lump within a week. Initially I did not want to tell my husband (Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), I did not want to bother him as he was busy after returning from an overseas trip. After the results were revealed, and the doctor confirmed it was a growth, only then did I tell him and he was shocked," she recounted.
"I remember getting the results on Monday. After that, we waited until Friday for me to be admitted into hospital. In the afternoon, there was another check-up to confirm the growth was there.
"On Saturday morning, I went into the operations theater and in the afternoon, the operation was over. The next day, I was allowed to go home."
"I'm a survivor," said the 93-year-old.
Dr Siti Hasmah urged every woman to undergo breast examinations as instructed by doctors to detect if a breast lump is cancerous
"Never assume that breast cancer will only happen to others and that it won't happen to yourself," she chided, as reported by Berita Harian.
"Breast cancer can happen to anyone, regardless of age, from the young to someone in their 90s like me."
She added that women do not have to feel ashamed to go through mammograms because there are many women specialists doing this procedure.
"Do not risk your life because this is a type of cancer which can be prevented if it is detected early, and the earlier we get treatment, the faster is the recovery.
"Health checks is our responsibility while we are still healthy, before we can look after others," she said.
Meanwhile, KL Pink October 2019 committee chairman Dr Ros Suzanna Ahmad Bustamam said the number of breast cancer patients have been increasing each year
She also said that breast cancer made up 18% of all cancer cases.
The awareness campaign aims to screen women in People's Housing Projects (PPR) and Public Housing in 10 parliamentary constituencies in Kuala Lumpur.
Dr Ros said that less than 30% of women who have been screened turn up for hospital appointments for further treatment, and this was worrying as they could potentially develop cancer.
"This campaign will not only ensure the target group undergoes screening and checks, but are given vital information about healthcare, assistance and the role of the relevant agencies which can help them increase their knowledge of breast cancer," she said.