To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, Hive Life spotlights some of the influential charitable organisations and causes in the Asia Pacific region committed to educating the public, supporting treatment and prevention initiatives, and bringing hope to those fighting the battle.
Women in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and for the longest period, had significantly higher cancer incidences and mortality rates than western countries. Breast cancer has been ranked the most common type of cancer in Asia, accounting for almost 39% of incident cases reported globally, and is listed as the second-biggest cause of cancer-related deaths in Asian women. This alarming rise has become a worry for many nations, creating a burden on oncologic systems and hindering the lives of many.
In the midst of a global health crisis disproportionately impacting lower-income individuals in these Asian countries, what also often gets overlooked is the excruciating diagnosis and treatment procedures that take an unimaginable toll on the physical and emotional wellbeing of those suffering.
Over the years, the narrative has begun to shift and taken a more positive outlook for those diagnosed. The rise of new technologies and innovative medical solutions has brought greater attention to the cause, with many charitable organisations advocating for change and stepping up their commitment to initiating important conversations and building awareness of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in APAC.
These breast cancer charities and nonprofits are not only making a greater impact on the lives of those affected, but also on their families and communities. Their extended support systems deliver valuable information, while facilitating treatment and cost subsidies, and most importantly, give these individuals hope for a better life. These charities conduct impactful campaigning and annual pledges to educate the public, reform perceptions, and raise donations for the Pink Ribbon revolution.
Every contribution counts, individually, and collectively as a community. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, support the movement by volunteering with your local charity, or simply donating to the cause. Here are some of our top picks of breast cancer charities and causes in APAC dedicated to making positive reform!
The Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry’s annual campaign, PinkRun.HK is making a real-time impact. The PinkRun.HK 2022 will combine its virtual application with real-life participation, organising different activities including its online run and physical Fan Run Carnival, to raise funds, and bring recognition to hereditary breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Donations raised will be dedicated to facilitating public education and awareness of breast cancer, and providing counselling support to high-risk age groups and their families.
The charitable organisation is the first dedicated charity to mitigate BRCA and other gene mutation-induced breast and other hereditary risk cancers. It currently funds important research to advance and standardise clinical trials and care, while assessing necessary preventative measures.
Breast Cancer Foundation
Singapore’s Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF), was established in 1997 as a social service organisation which later achieved IPC status. Launched with a mission to eradicate life-threatening risk factors of breast cancer, the charity is committed to educating and empowering patients, offering them an essential support system, and other holistic healing services to aid their mental and physical recovery.
Championing early detection, BCF offers mammogram screening services for those aged between 40 to 49. Their Volunteer Befriending Programme is supported by survivors of breast cancer to help those fighting their own battles. The self-funded charity depends greatly on volunteer aid and donations, to enable the quality of its services and programme offerings.
Taiwan Breast Cancer Foundation
The Taiwan Breast Cancer Foundation (TBCF) serves as the frontline charitable response to the nation’s breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, patient care, and support. Since its establishment in 1997, the foundation has laid out the essential groundwork to raise breast cancer awareness and screening initiatives. In addition to early prevention measures, TBCF aims to fund important research to expedite the treatment and therapy development, and educate, support, and rehabilitate patients through their holistic offerings.
Founded by two surgical breast oncologists, the nonprofit is heavily focused on subsidising breast cancer prevention and treatment research, as well as formulating informative publications on precaution and control initiatives.
In their own spirit of “caring for life,” the organisation hosts a myriad of fundraising and community events, including Let Love Fly, a breast cancer service programme, The True Love Choir, charity sales, and plenty more initiatives you can support and get involved with.
Breast Cancer Network Vietnam
Early detection of breast cancer within the first five years is statistically proven to bring survival rates up to 93%, and even higher in some cases. Education is one of the major obstacles to awareness and information on breast cancer detection and diagnosis in Vietnam.
Breast Cancer Network Vietnam works to enable education on early detection, and access to these services, and to better equip those in marginalised communities with important knowledge and resources. Through its various community initiatives, the charity has started a much-needed dialogue between patients and professionals.
The NGO organises various charity events, of which a large sum of donations are directly inputted into the cause and betterment of the lives of women with cancer.
Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation
The Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 2007 by Dr. Kris Chatamra in Thailand, as a nonprofit organisation and subsidiary charitable initiative for the country’s Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC), which was founded under the Royal Patronage. Dr. Chatamra aspires to amplify awareness of breast cancer within the community, and accelerate the diagnosis and therapy process, while supporting QSCBC with its diverse projects and offerings.
This nonprofit bridges the knowledge gap between healthcare professionals and breast cancer patients, and ensures that individuals can have a trusted network for information, resources, and support. Moreover, the NGO wishes to expand on its current offerings and develop the nation’s first charity-based holistic care centre to help breast cancer patients readjust to their lives.
Run for the Cure Foundation
Run for the Cure Foundation (RFTC) is Japan’s national breast cancer awareness charity, registered as a nonprofit with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government back in 2004. RFTC works to educate individuals on the significance of dialogue and offers them valuable information to aid them on their cancer journey. Vickie Paradise Green, the Chairperson of RFTC, and a breast cancer survivor herself, is devoted to advocacy for early medical prognosis, and treatment for the diagnosed.
The nonprofit organises an annual Tokyo Run 2022 to raise awareness and funds, which help facilities the charity’s outreach initiatives and contribution to improving the quality of life of breast cancer patients and survivors.
Rachelle Panitzthe, the founder of Australia-based So Brave, is a young mother of two who was met with a life-changing breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 32. She encountered numerous struggles in understanding her diagnosis, due to limited resources and medical support available. Rachelle’s personal experiences, along with the many obstacles she endured in the medical process, prompted her to take the leap to support others facing the same dilemma.
Rachelle founded So Brave to inform, educate, support, and empower young women diagnosed with breast cancer, with the intent to change the narrative and course of the “life-threatening” statement. Her charitable drive integrates various undertakings, from funding cancer research, to promoting body positivity with unique artistic expression. Well-aware of the financial toll and social isolation brought by the disease, the charity mitigates these negative implications and is dedicated to building a sense of security, hosting different workshops and charitable drives.