Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Media Release: Future Dentists Join the Fight Towards A Future Free of the Fear of Cancer

Kuala Lumpur, 15 February 2015 – Future dentists from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Dental Student Association (UKMDENSTA) pledged their support for the Malaysian plan of down staging oral cancer by organizing an Oral Cancer Run aiming to raise awareness of oral cancer and also raise funds for oral cancer research in Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF).

CARIF is a Malaysian independent cancer research organisation that conducts impactful research to make a difference in the prevention of cancer and the survival of cancer patients. “Funds raised from the Run will be channeled to CARIF for oral cancer research to develop better therapies with fewer side effects for the treatment of oral cancer. It is very inspiring that these students are starting early in their career to think about improving oral cancer survival,” quipped Professor Dr Cheong Sok Ching, Head of Oral Cancer Research Team at CARIF.

“It is an honour to be able to give back to our community by supporting such a worthy foundation. We pledge to hold this cause close to our hearts as we want to do our part in fighting the disease. In the future, we plan to organize this event during mouth cancer awareness month to make it sustainable and to strengthen collaboration with Ministry of Health, Oral Cancer Research and Coordinating Centre University of Malaya (OCRCC UM) and other dental colleagues. We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce UKMDENSTA to the public as we strongly believe that we need to nurture these future dentists who will continue to make a difference in the near future,” said Dr Atika Ashar, UKM Dental lecturer and Advisor for the UKMDENSTA.

The Run is correspondingly in line with the Malaysian National Oral Health Plan where one of the seven key goals is to have 30% of oral cancers detected at an early stage sin year 2020 – we are currently detecting 70% of oral cancers at late disease stages. To achieve this, raising awareness is the first step and in relation to that, the annual National Mouth Cancer Awareness Week Walkathon organized by the National Oral Cancer Initiatives (NOCI) co- chaired by Dr Khairiyah Abd. Muttalib (Principal Director, Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health) and Professor Rosnah Mohd Zain (Director, OCRCC UM) later this year will be continuing the same effort to down stage oral cancer.

“I am grateful that we are able to contribute to the government’s efforts in down staging oral cancer. The student committee at UKMDENSTA is driven to continue coordinating this Run annually, with the hope to increase our CARIF donation year on year as we share the charity’s vision for a future free of the fear of cancer,” said Siti Masyitah Solehah Bt Abdul Sabeth, Programme Director of the Oral Cancer Run, UKMDENSTA.

Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) is a Malaysian independent cancer research organisation whose vision is a future free of the fear of cancer and whose mission is to conduct impactful research to make a difference in the prevention of cancer and the survival of cancer patients. For more information, please contact +603 5639 1874 or email

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