Lung Cancer & Melanoma Awareness Workshop

Lung Cancer & Melanoma Awareness Workshop


Generally everyone has experienced the devastating effects of lung cancer, impacting either ourselves, or our loved ones, in one way or another. This is hardly surprising, considering that lung cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer worldwide, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 -people! Scary. I was at the MSD Blogger Workshop session on lung cancer and melanoma awareness a few weeks ago, and it opened my eyes to so much information pertaining to these two health conditions. 

Lung Cancer & Melanoma Awareness Workshop
Lung Cancer & Melanoma Awareness Workshop



Upon arrival at the venue, we were quickly ushered to our tables before Dr Tho Lye Mun, Consultant Oncologist gave us an insightful presentation on lung cancer and melanoma. So many of us have friends, family and loved ones who have been impacted by cancer in some way.



Three E's of Cancer Immunoediting
Three E's of Cancer Immunoediting

Always be on alert for early signs, so that the disease can be treated upon early detection. While there are a variety of cancer treatment options, immunotherapy has become an important part of treating cancers and may be a viable option for higher survivability of cancer victims with better quality of life.


Did you know this?
Did you know this?

Did you KNOW?


Did you know there's a 1 in 6 chance of Malaysians developing cancer in their life? This hits close to home - I'm sure we all have a loved one suffering from this. In Malaysia, a total of 4,404 lung cancer cases were recorded in 2012, with more than 80% mortality rate.

During Dr Tho’s presentation we learned to watch out for the signs and symptoms of lung cancer and melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases, but is responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. In Malaysia, 62.5% of melanoma cases are usually detected in stage III, which is already too late! Early detection is always key, so be sure to watch out for the signs.

Causes & Symptoms of Lung Cancer


Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer, with at least 80% of lung cancer deaths thought to result from smoking. Symptoms may include chest pains, shortness of breath, lethargy and weight loss with no known causes. Unfortunately, from my understanding, most patients with lung cancer do not experience symptoms until the cancer is already at an advanced stage! This makes early detection and timely treatment a huge challenge. 

Now this is scary
Now this is scary

Causes & Symptoms of Melanoma


Melanoma if you didn’t know yet, begins in the skin’s pigment-producing cells. It’s the most serious form of skin cancer, accounting for less than 2% of skin cancer cases, but is responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is a major risk factor for melanoma. The first melanoma signs and symptoms often are changes in an existing mole and development of a new pigmented growth on the skin. 

Regulating the T-Cell Immune Response
Regulating the T-Cell Immune Response

Are there viable treatment options for Cancer?


There are lots of relatable experiences and stories from where people actually survive from cancer and move on to live a long fruitful life free from the disease. During the session, we learnt that once a person is diagnosed with cancer, there’s a host of treatment options, from surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy to the newer treatment, immunotherapy. They all have their pros and cons.

We were introduced to Immunotherapy as a viable treatment option for cancer, a treatment method that uses certain parts of a patron’s immune system to fight cancer. How interesting! I found out that Immunotherapy holds great potential compared to existing conventional treatment approaches to fight cancer with fewer side effects. Read on for more information on this treatment option.


Long term Survival with Immunotherapy
Long term Survival with Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy harnesses our immune system to help fight cancer. There is great potential for immuno-oncology of increasing long-term survival and improving quality of life. Compared to other conventional cancer treatments, the side effects of immunotherapy (flu-like symptoms, fatigue, rashes, fever, and drop in blood pressure) are way lesser. Other conventional cancer treatments have effects that are more acute as they damage normal, healthy cells that are near the cancer cells. This causes pain, diarrhoea, hair loss, nerve problems, nausea and vomiting, and anaemia. 

Niki Cheong sharing during the session
Niki Cheong sharing during the session

During our workshop, we even heard a real-life testimonial from Niki Cheong where he shared on how cancer has impacted his life and his family and friends. It was a touching talk, where I could relate to. Both my grandparents from my mother’s side passed on due to sickness attributed to cancer, and it is a rather scary thought wondering if we will also develop it in the future. 

With Dr Tho
With Dr Tho


After attending the MSD Blogger Workshop session on lung cancer and melanoma awareness,  I understand how serious cancer can be to all of us. There’s hope though, as I learnt of the host of viable treatment options for cancer. In fact, after hearing about the benefits of immunotherapy, I would think anybody that knows someone or has a loved one suffering from cancer could consider this particular treatment. Talk to your doctor to explore more about immunotherapy and if it’s right for you. 




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