October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month- an ongoing issue for women in Cambodia
Ms. Nhoek Mech is just one of the patients that SHCH sees each month for issues relating to Breast Cancer. Mech, 58, is a rice farmer in Battambang about 6 hours north west of Phnom Penh by car. She lives with her 5 children, all of which are working in manual labor with a very low salary to support the family. She came to us in March 2015.
In late 2014, she found a large mass on her breast. She went to a large private clinic with a laboratory in the city close to her farm. After a biopsy, they found malignancy in the tissue. The doctor there recommended surgery, but it was far too expensive for her. She decided to pursue traditional healing instead. Naturally, those treatments did not work.
Mech became desperate and despondent after she saw the lump grow bigger. Her cousin, after learning of her troubles, knew about SHCH’s Breast Cancer program. Mech came in for an assessment, laboratory diagnostics include hormone receptor status (SHCH has the only laborartory that can do this test) and surgical treatment. Mech was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Unfortunately, Mech was also hormone receptor negative, which means that donated medications cannot treat her. SHCH staff will work with her to determine appropriate treatment options.
“Thank you very much for saving me and giving me a new life. Mech said, “I will share my story to all women in my village to save their life from breast cancer.”