"Colours of Hope" Raises Awareness on Childhood Cancer

Dr Manimaran Krishnan (centre) with Lavaniyah Ganapathy, Founder of Malaysian Childhood Cancer Association (on his right), Bryan Lin, SJMC CEO, Rachel Woo, SJMC COO and Datin Sri Kristine Anne Williams, Head of Corporate Marketing & Healthcare Network Management (on his left). 

The Colours of Hope event with the participation of 30 children with cancer aims to reveal their creativity and talent in painting which is translated on canvas through this event. The event held in conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was organised by the Malaysian Childhood Cancer Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC).

The Ministry of Health’s Health Behaviour Research Institute Director, Dr Manimaran Krishnan said that the Ministry of Health is pleased that this community social service programme was organised to bring joy and understand the hardships and difficulties faced in fighting cancer.

“Under the Healthy Malaysia National Agenda (ANMS), the Ministry of Health urges the public to undergo regular health screenings and watch out for warning signs, especially among children, to undergo examinations and treatment in hospitals,” he said.

According to the Malaysian National Cancer Registry (MNCR) 2012-2016, the common cancer among children under the age of 14 is leukaemia (41.4% in boys and 37.9 % in girls). This is followed by brain, nervous system (14.6% in boys, 15.8% in girls) and lymphoma (13.4 % in boys and 7.7% in girls).

Cancer in children aged 0 to 18 years comprise 3,829 cases with 2,131 cases (55.7%) involving boys and 1,698 cases (44.3%) involving girls.

Dr Krishnan said unhealthy lifestyles and unbalanced daily eating patterns among the contributors to the increase in non-communicable diseases (NCD), according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS).

He added that the number of young people with NCDs is increasing if compared to before when it is difficult to find young people in their 30s suffering from heart disease and facing death. NCD no longer recognises age and gender; people need to practice a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and eat nutritious food.

“These habits can prevent obesity and improve overall health. Research shows the lack of a culture in diagnostic testing among communities leads to an increase in late diagnosis of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes,” he said. “This will create more disease burden, complicate disease management and reduce quality of life and productivity.”

Emalia Ahmad, 31, from Palembang, Indonesia, shared that the journey of her eldest son, Muhammad Arshaq Maulana, 5, was not as easy as behind the laughter and cheerfulness that radiated on his face, there was a painful story that surrounded him after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of three.

She chose Malaysia to undergo treatment because this country is the closest and has expertise in conducting bone marrow aspiration (BMA) tests to identify leukaemia or blood cancer.

“Today’s event was not only able to cheer up the children who are facing illness, but also cures the tiredness of the parents who see their children happy to forget the illness while they are facing it because cancer affects the whole family,” she said.

Source: Harian Metro