Public knowledge of breast cancer must be improved: Experts

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds


HEALTHCARE professionals must collectively improve the public’s general knowledge of breast cancer, said the medical director of The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) yesterday.

Speaking at the Breast Cancer Symposium 2014, Associate Professor Dr Kenneth Kok urged healthcare professionals to remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health, adhering to prescribed treatment and knowing the facts about recurrence.

He said that Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed annually in October, serves as a reminder to healthcare professionals to raise their collective voices about the importance of early detection.

“Early detection improves the chances that breast cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage and treated successfully,” said the medical director, adding that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females and is among the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

He pointed out that the incidence of breast cancer is increasing in Brunei and is the most common cancer in the country over the past few years. The all-day symposium at the Centrepoint Hotel, Gadong, was one of the activities organised by TBCC to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, bringing together invited overseas and local speakers to share their experience and expertise.

Speakers were also able to exchange ideas on the management of breast cancer, besides strengthening collaboration and cooperation between participating institutions.

The symposium focused on a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer management in light of the complex decision-making process involved in the determination of optimal treatment plan for patients with breast cancer.

Associate Professor Dr Kok said the symposium is also a venue for the discussion of new advances and innovations in the treatment of breast cancer related to surgery, systemic therapy and radiotherapy.

“There have been a number of significant advances made in the treatment of breast cancer… During the past few decades, we have witnessed the advancement of oncoplastic breast surgery (and) the incorporation of more effective newer chemotherapeutic regimes,” he explained.

Advances in treatment also included the increase in understanding of the molecular genetics of breast carcinogenesis leading to targeted therapies and refinements in radiotherapy protocols.

“The organising committee of today’s symposium has put together an exciting scientific programme.The topics are appropriate, well-thought-out and common, but important in the management of patients with breast cancer,” said the medical director.

He explained participants will have the opportunity to learn and review the different aspects of breast cancer management and be better equipped in their daily management of breast cancer patients.

Apart from presentations on various topics relating to breast cancer, the symposium featured an interactive case discussion session, where “interesting and complicated” breast cancer cases were discussed.

A nursing workshop was also conducted, dedicated to the management of breast cancer from the nursing perspective.

The Brunei Times