In a momentous event back in 2005, the Queen declared, “This centre shall serve as a safe haven for all women”, as she inaugurated the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC). To ensure that every Thai woman confronting this formidable disease could access the necessary help despite their financial status and societal standing, Dr Kris Chatamra, the Centre’s premier physician, initiated the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation – a non-profit entity, two years later. The foundation aims to support the humanitarian endeavours of the QNSCBC.
Launching the Centre has not been without its challenges, but its accomplishments and the incredible work it has facilitated are honourably recognised in a brand-new, limited-edition coffee table book. This captivating volume has been meticulously compiled by Dr Kris Chatamra and Khunying Finola Chatamra, serving as an Honorary Advisor to both the Centre and the Foundation.
Divulging an extensive 15-year history of the national QSCBC Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, the book, aptly titled ‘Sanctuary’, is brimmed with insightful content. It encompasses stories of Breast Cancer ambassadors, empirical information about the disease which is currently the most prevalent type of cancer, causing untimely demise of numerous Thai women every year, and the work of the QSCBC since its inception as a premier regional Centre available to all women, especially those in dire financial situations.
The engaging read sheds light on the QSCBC’s innovative Breast Cancer Screening Project, implemented in the poorest community slums, and the robust QSCBC Pink Park clinical unit that provides holistic care and hospice services to the poorest national patients battling post-treatment recovery.
The book beautifully narrates the triumphant story of QSCBC’s immense success with its groundbreaking immunotherapy treatment, injecting new hope into the hearts of fierce cancer warriors. Dr Stuart Curbishley, Director of Advanced Therapies at the University of Birmingham’s Immunotherapy and Immunology Centre, who came to Bangkok specifically for the launch, applauds this impressive development. He explained, “Immunotherapy, a novel treatment approach deployed by the QSCBC, destroys cancer in the liver and lungs of patients affected by the terminal stages of breast cancer when all other treatments have exhausted their potential. They’re equipped with the most technologically advanced diagnostic and treatment tools and high-end laboratory facilities.”
He adds enthusiastically, “This treatment has sparked new hope for breast cancer patients. It gained recognition at the renowned St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference held in Switzerland in 2021.” Currently under extensive research trials, the project, like the Centre’s many other ventures, relies on generous donations.
‘Sanctuary’, instead of being sold, will be made a gracious offering to embassies worldwide as well as Thai institutions including universities and schools, to instigate better understanding about breast cancer, the most rampant cancer affecting women globally. The malignant disease poses a threat to more than 40,000 Thai women each year, underlining the urgency to educate and raise awareness.