Body painting program raises breast cancer awareness
About 50 to 60 percent of women with breast cancer in the West choose to undergo breast-conserving surgery, while over 88 percent of Chinese breast cancer patients would rather have their breast completely removed due to relapse fears and limited medical capabilities, according to experts.
However, removing the entire breast can inflict psychological injury and influence patients' personal lives and work. With medical developments and the introduction of advanced treatments, the gap between Chinese and Western patients is expected to narrow, medical experts said at a program organized by the China Anti-Cancer Association.
To encourage more patients to have the courage and confidence to keep their breasts, a six-month-long nationwide body painting tour kicked off in the city. The tour is also intended to raise public awareness about breast cancer and those diagnosed with it.
The Run for Her Family program invites breast cancer patients to show the beauty of the human form through body painting and share their experiences with other breast cancer patients.
Dr Shao Zhimin from the Shanghai Cancer Center said breast-conserving surgery requires advanced treatment capabilities, skilled doctors, effective communication between patients and medical professionals, and good post-surgery rehabilitation abilities.
“But keeping the breast has very positive psychological effects on breast cancer patients,” he said. “The introduction of more targeted medicines further improves the survival of patients, who can enjoy a longer and better life.”
The hospital has widely adopted breast-conserving and breast reconstruction surgeries for patients.
It conducted 1,632 breast-conserving surgeries and 775 breast reconstruction surgeries last year, accounting for 26.8 percent and 12.7 percent of breast cancer surgeries.