Keeping Abreast

Men Have A Role In The Fight To Eradicate Breast Cancer

In a reminder that breast cancer isn’t just a “woman’s problem”, some 120 gents took part in this month’s Breast Cancer Foundation 7th Tee for Pink Charity Golf tournament.

Men Have A Role In The Fight To Eradicate Breast Cancer
7th Tee for Pink Men's Champion Kelvin Liau
Image: BCF

While it’s not uncommon for men to outnumber women on a golf course, all 121 men and 7 female participants of this month’s 7th Tee for Pink Charity Golf tournament were united for a common goal: raising awareness for early breast cancer detection and the role men play in the fight against breast cancer. 

Organised by the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) and held at the newly redesigned Tampines course at Tanah Merah Country Club, Tee for Pink took place shortly after World Health Organization’s recent announcement that breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer as the most common occurring cancer globally. 

As BCF President Staphnie Tang shared: “We want our golf participants to know that breast cancer is more than a woman’s problem. When it hits, it affects all. Men play a vital role to their wives, mothers, partners, children or siblings to encourage them to go for their mammogram screenings as well as to do their routine self-examinations.

“The support of men is key in normalising talking about breast cancer so that we can save more lives. And when the woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the man will walk that journey with her.”

In Singapore, 1 in 13 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. According to the Singapore Cancer Registry, the incidence of breast cancer diagnosis has more than tripled over the past 40 years. 

For golf participant and sponsor Chris Fussner, the battle against breast cancer has hit home. “My mother and ex-wife both had breast cancer and both had to undergo mastectomies. That experience made me realise that breast cancer affects not only the woman herself, but also her family and community,” he shared.

“Not many men are aware that breast cancer not only can affect their female loved ones but that it can also happen to them,” added Dr Jimmy Koh, whose firm Antara Koh was also a tournament sponsor.

Though breast cancer is frequently associated with women, about 1 percent of all diagnosis are made up of men.

Women’s Champion Shang YuImage: BCF

Shang Yu, 17, was crowned Tee for Pink’s Ladies’ Champion, and Kevin Liau, it’s Men’s Champion.

“A man’s well-being is intertwined with the well-being of his mother, his wife, his sisters and daughters,” said Liau, a father of two girls, after his win. “BCF empowers ladies, with the support of the family, to take charge of their well-being. It is heartening that the BCF facilitates this support network.”

Despite several postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, flights for the charity tournament sold out early. More than $250,000 was raised and will be matched with dollar-for-dollar funding by the Tote Board’s Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme.

The funds will go towards the setting up of a new Breast Cancer Centre later this year.

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