Malaysia - Changing the picture of breast cancer in Kuala Lumpur

Read the results of our study, recently presented at World Cancer Congress, Kuala Lumpur here.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Malaysia, a country which has the worst survival for breast cancer in the Asia Pacific region.

In October 2017, Worldwide Breast Cancer in partnership with the University of Malaysia began testing if the Know Your Lemons® campaign could increase levels of awareness in young women.

The research was driven by breast surgeon and advisor for Worldwide Breast Cancer, Dr. Nur Aishah Mohd Taib. Not only did she want to test if the "Lemons" could increase awareness, Dr. Taib wanted to see if the lemon metaphor would engage the public.

The “Show Your Care, Be Aware” campaign took place on the University of Malaysia campus from October 8 - 20, 2017 and involved a large art exhibition, awareness booths, public talks and other forums using "Know Your Lemons" materials in Malay and English.

The project generated a lot of support. Datuk Professor Dr Awg Bulgiba Awg Mahmud, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Malaysia recognized the need for a better way to educate. At the launch he stated, “The survival of breast cancer patients in Malaysia remains poor because of late presentation and advanced stage disease. Every effort must be made to educate our community of signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Collaboration with Worldwide Breast Cancer...will provide easier understanding of breast cancer signs and symptoms using visual arts”.

The results of the study were presented at the World Cancer Congress on October 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur offers a diverse setting in which to test the Know Your Lemons materials for cultural barriers. Of the 679 participants, 72% were Malay, 19% Chinese and 10% Indians and others.

In summary, the study found that after seeing the Know Your Lemons® materials in Malay during the 2017 campaign:

  • 93% of respondent now felt confident in recognizing the symptoms of breast cancer themselves

  • 97% said the detection process was more easily understood

  • 95% said the materials were clear and culturally acceptable

  • 96% found the language used in the materials clear and understandable with 89% finding them acceptable in Malay culture.

Read the Abstract on the Journal of Global Oncology here.

See "Know Your Lemons" in Malay on our website at