Cancer Awareness Public Forum in Kuching attracted 80 participants

A cancer awareness public forum held on the morning of 18th of June, 2016 attracted 80 participants from all walks of life to learn more about cancer from early detection, diagnosis to cancer treatment and post cancer care. The forum aimed to create more public awareness and increase knowledge of cancer care available which is crucial in surviving cancer.

Appreciation goes to our speakers, namely, Dr Winnie Ling (Medical Oncologist from Normah Medical Specialist Centre), Dr. Chew Lee Ping (Haematologist) and Dr Voon Pei Jye (Medical Oncologist) both who are attached to Sarawak General Hospital.  Our speakers have taken time off their busy work schedule and come together on a common platform to educate and provide an avenue for participants to voice their challenges in accessing cancer treatment especially in the Sarawak General Hospital.

The forum started with Dr Winnie Ling (Medical Oncologist) giving some insights on cancer facts and myths, types of cancer screening available and symptoms to watch out for.  She emphasized that early detection, diagnosis and timely appropriate treatment improves chance of cancer cure or survival.  Again the crucial key is cancer awareness.  Dr Chew Lee Ping (Haematologist) introduced the audience to Lymphoma and Leukemia, an acute form of blood cancer which can hit anyone on the street.  Dr Chew advised that it is very important to go for early screening and treatment.  While there is no definite proven cause of cancer, Dr. Chew gave a very sound advice to young children and teenagers to have enough quality sleep at a decent hour in order to have a healthy body and strong immune system amongst other healthy lifestyle habits.

The second part of the forum was solely dedicated to an open dialogue between the audience and our medical oncologists/Haematologist present, which also include Dr Voon Pei Jye (Medical Oncologist) besides Dr Winnie Ling and Dr Chew Lee Ping.  Some pertinent issues were raised by the public regarding cancer treatment in Sarawak, and the medical panel also shared on the challenges faced with treating cancer patients. 

Datuk YB Professor Dr. Sim, the state assemblyman for Batu Kawa (where Sarawak Children Cancer Society/SCCS is located) made an effort to come by and gave acknowledgment to our speakers for their dedication and commitment to serve the people in Sarawak.  He also gave some insights to the participants on the intensity of investment amount required for medical infrastructure – both hardware (facility, building and medical equipment) and software (medical specialists, doctors and nurses).  Nevertheless, assurance was given to the participants that the government will make efforts to continually improve cancer care in Sarawak.

A Cancer Awareness Survey Questionnaire initiated by TAC Sarawak was distributed for the participants to fill in during the forum.  The survey would enable TAC Sarawak to collate information pertaining to cancer awareness, treatment and challenges from the public. 

Overall, TAC is happy to receive lots of positive feedback from the participants, especially on the opportunity to interact with our Oncologists and Haematologist with many looking forward to more such forums in the near future.  TAC looks forward to reaching out to a wider public by organizing more seminars, forums and workshops.

Dr Chew LP answering questions from the participants.

 The participants listening to the talk attentively.

Dr Voon PJ explaining cancer treatment in SGH.

Dr Winnie Ling delivering her cancer talk via presentation slides.

Datuk YB Professor Dr. Sim was presented the Book entitled, “Elevating The Voice of Cancer Patients’ by TAC

This forum is organized by Task Force Sarawak, Together Against Cancer Association Malaysia (TAC).   TAC was registered through the joint efforts of cancer survivors, carers and concerned professionals, in August 2015.  TAC is motivated to provide a unified voice for all individuals affected by and concerned about cancer issues to improve access to better quality healthcare in Malaysia through health policy and legislative reforms. For more info, please visit our website at:

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