Reported by Toh Boon Kheng / Photographs by Yaohan Wong and Sharaniah Balakrisnan
It’s Friday! TGIF! After this, we can all take a break over the weekend, right? But cancer doesn’t have Fridays nor weekends. Don’t worry though, on the 29th of April 2016, AMSA IMU made sure that we can be educated about cancer while still enjoying our Friday.
There were colourful decorations everywhere, surrounding informational slides on boards strategically placed to gather crowds. There was even a polaroid photo booth, with props in theme with cancer. Located in the atrium, the probation AMSA ambassadors from ME116 set up a carnival-styled exhibition in conjunction with AMSA Health Day 2016. Given that the theme this year is about cancer, three key variations of cancer were placed under the spotlight; cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.
“This is the 1st event by this batch of ambassadors, so we weren’t sure about how it would go. But I guess you can say it went quite well, much better than expected,” explained Michael, one of the organising members of the exhibition. Another organising member, Harriwin followed up, “Our fruit stall was even selling non-stop earlier. We and the seniors were not sure if it would sell well, but we went with it anyway, and it paid off. The sales were great, even with the SRC elections outside.” The fruit stall provided some decent comparisons from eating healthy to unhealthy eating and doughnuts. Don’t underestimate the evil of doughnuts when it comes to cancer.
But why cancer, and why cervical, colorectal, and lung? “We just want to raise the awareness for cancer. We know a lot about breast cancer, but what about the others? In Malaysia, colorectal cancer is rising as one of the most prevalent cancers.” Harriwin added from Michael, “Did you know that cervical cancer is the most prevalent cancer among Malaysian women, and that lung cancer is the most prevalent one among Malaysian men? Colorectal is very prevalent, and rising.” “We all can learn something new from this. Even as medical students, some of these are semester 2 and 3 materials, so as semester 1 students, we learned quite a lot ourselves,” said Harriwin as Michael continued, “Some of the lecturers came by to have a look, and they even gave us some ideas that we can use in future events.”
Yes, that is correct, there are future events. If all goes well, there will be a sexual health awareness event coming soon, tentatively end of May. Seeing the quality of this exhibition, we can expect plenty of activities lined up by the ambassadors. One does not need to be a medical student to learn more about health conditions and what can we do about it. So, what can we do? According to our two enthusiastic event organisers, “Join AMSA events!”