P&G and Hong Kong Cancer Fund Launch “P&G 6 Min Protects a Life” Campaign

Survivors draw on own experiences to promote greater awareness and early detection of women’s cancers through self check-ups

Hong Kong, April 8, 2013 - According to Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority, cancers related to the female sex (including breast, cervical, uterine and ovarian cancers) account for nearly 40% of all female cancer cases. In addition to medical expenses, patients may need to stop working during treatment, which can easily from 6 months to a whole year. This results not only in a loss of income for the individual and jeopardizes their career prospects, it also places an added financial and emotional burden on the whole family.

Given the median incidence age of women cancer patients is 50 or over, it is recommended that all women in this age group have regular check-ups. In order to raise public awareness of women’s cancers, Procter & Gamble Hong Kong Ltd. (P&G), in collaboration with the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, launches “P&G 6 Min Protects a Life” campaign. It encourages Hong Kong women to pay closer attention to their health, have regular check-ups and seek early treatment if cancer is diagnosed.

Mr. Ajit Nayak, General Manager of Procter & Gamble Hong Kong Taiwan said, ‘“P&G 6 Min Protects a Life” has been promoted in Taiwan for 18 years, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from the community. Our aim is to raise awareness of women’s cancers in Hong Kong, increase public knowledge and encourage women to pay closer attention to their bodies.’

Ms. Sally Lo, Founder and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Cancer Fund said, ‘Our public education campaigns aim to increase awareness of cancer and changes in our bodies, as well as encourage the community to have regular check-ups. Women are becoming more aware of what to look for and are visiting their healthcare professionals earlier when they notice something abnormal. It is important to realize that cancer doesn’t disappear if you ignore it. Being proactive and getting checked regularly is vital. Finding cancer sooner rather than later, and beginning treatment quickly, is the key to recovery and increases your chances of survival and living a healthy life.’

Dr. William Foo, Clinical Oncology Specialist and Medical Advisor to Hong Kong Cancer Fund added, ‘Women’s cancers are increasingly common, accounting for around 40% of all female cancer cases. Women’s cancers may not have obvious symptoms in their early stages, so we encourage women to pay close attention to any abnormal changes in their body, including menstrual disorders. For women aged 50 and over, there is a higher risk of women’s cancers. If they feel any breast or uterine discomfort, we recommend they seek professional advice and consider a breast and cervical screening as soon as possible.’

Many local women fail to be diagnosed early or receive timely treatment due to their busy working lives. During the campaign kick-off ceremony, two cancer survivors shared their experiences, and highlighted how early diagnosis and positive thinking had changed their lives. Ms. Liu, a breast cancer survivor, said, “In the past, I would always make excuses and say I was too busy to get a check-up, even when I felt sick. Then two years ago I found a lump in my breast. Although the treatment was very painful and had a significant emotional impact on me, I was lucky to have strong family support and understanding.” At Cancer Fund’s CancerLink centres Ms. Liu received much-needed FREE support, advice and counselling from their team of professional carers and social workers. Today, she is an active member of their wellness programmes, and attends therapeutic groups and yoga classes to help ease her recovery. More importantly, Ms. Liu is now a CancerLink community education ambassador, sharing her experiences, advice and insights in different community settings around Hong Kong.

Ms. So was diagnosed with cervical cancer 20 years ago, and was puzzled by the lack of information available to her at that time. Fortunately she came to CancerLink, where she received support and encouragement at every step of her cancer journey. She ultimately won her fight against cervical cancer, and cites the importance of that support from her family and friends on her path to recovery. Ms. So has since become a volunteer at CancerLink’s self-help groups, in the hope she can draw from her own experiences to offer advice to others. Ms. So pointed out how women’s cancers have become more common in recent years, and urged Hong Kong people to pay more attention to women’s cancers, and give greater assistance to patients.

“P&G 6 Min Protects a Life” campaign invited Miss Lin Chi-ling, a well-known actress from Taiwan, to be their ambassador. Miss Lin understands the busy and stressful work life experienced by many local women, and believes they should take better care of their health for the sake of them and their families. She reminds local women that no matter how busy they are, in just six minutes they can keep themselves healthy and protect their family. On stage, Miss Lin also demonstrated how to conduct the 6-minute breast check.

From 2-31 May, applicants who are Hong Kong women aged 50 or over, and in the low income group meeting the criteria of financial status, can apply the free breast and cervical cancer screenings offered by P&G, with 150 openings. Screenings will be carried out at Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital or Hong Kong Baptist Hospital. Call Hong Kong Cancer Fund at 3656 0800 for more details.

Some of P&G's most iconic brands are participating in the campaign, including: Pantene, Olay, Oral B, Whisper, Head & Shoulders and Pampers. For more information, please visit www.pghongkong.com.