Sunday January 20, 2013
Sanofi Oncology and Malaysian Oncological Society’s Project Life aims to raise awareness on cancer management.
SANOFI Oncology and the Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS) launched Project Life, Malaysia’s first DVD featuring a two-part trilingual documentary on cancer management. This joint initiative is a comprehensive effort to save lives through accurate information and dispelling misconceptions on cancer management.
Project Life aims to help cancer patients overcome the challenges they face when diagnosed with the disease.
In addition to coping with the emotional turmoil upon hearing the diagnosis, patients and their families face the biggest challenge of getting the right answers to questions concerning cancer and treatment options.
The making of the Project Life DVD was conceptualised with the objective of empowering cancer patients and caregivers with important information to help them decide their treatment options based on sound scientific evidence for the best possible outcome.
The DVD, which is given free to all cancer patients, features interviews with top oncologists in Malaysia, who provide detailed information on the disease from diagnosis and treatment, up to caregiving.
Most importantly, it also features testimonials by cancer survivors who will be able to reach out to other patients and relate to them their own experience in going through cancer treatment. This is aimed at instilling courage and confidence in patients and their families when going through the treatment and recovery process.
To date, the number of Malaysians inflicted by cancer is escalating, from 31,998 in 2008 to 34,386 in 2010. This is estimated to rise to 40,939 in 2015, based on the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer Globocan statistics.
Leah Goodman, general manager of Sanofi Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei said, “Sanofi Oncology is one of the global leaders in the therapeutic area of cancer management.
“We collaborated with MOS on this initiative to help improve the quality of life of cancer patients by empowering them with the information they need to better manage the disease with peace of mind.
“In addition, the DVD can also be shared with caregivers to gain access to accurate information from experts in this field.”
Goodman stressed that the language used is simple, and can be easily understood by patients and their caregivers.
Meanwhile, MOS president Dr Ahmad Kamal noted: “Despite the existence of state-of-the-art equipment and new drugs, many cancer patients in Malaysia do not receive optimal treatment.
“Sadly, this is due to misconceptions about cancer management and inaccurate information obtained from various channels, leading the patients to seek alternative or traditional therapies, instead of evidence-based therapies.
“Ultimately, refusal or delay in clinical treatment will greatly compromise their chances for cure or prolonged survival.”
Datuk Dr Mohamed Ibrahim A. Wahid, honorary council member of MOS, shared: “Patients often get frustrated, and the psychological trauma they experience may lead to difficulty in understanding or recalling the doctor or consultant’s advice.
“But with this DVD, patients and caregivers obtain accurate information from credible sources, and they can watch it repeatedly.”
Cancer patient Hasmat Zakaria said: “If only I had known all the things I know now about the disease and treatment process, my journey would have been less fearful, less uncertain, and I would not have wasted time feeling depressed unnecessarily based on horror stories from third parties.”
Project Life is a two-part DVD – part one features cancer diagnosis and treatment that comprises interviews with renowned oncologists, surgeons, psychologists and palliative care physicians from MOS; part two is testimonials from cancer survivors narrating their journey through treatment, and how they overcame their challenges in their battle with the disease.
With its trilingual advantage (English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin), it ensures that patients and caregivers of all races understand the messages.
For a start, a total of 5,000 DVDs will be available to cancer patients. They request for the DVD from their physician or specialist during consultation.