Global brand experience agency, VMLY&R and leading Thai underwear brand, Sabina, are fighting breast cancer with the creation of a revolutionary Breast Cancer Simulator Pad, which turns any bra into a breast cancer detecting simulator.
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality among women in Thailand and worldwide, and early detection could save the lives of more than 8,000 Thai women who die from breast cancer each year.
Created by VMLY&R in partnership with Sabina, the world’s first Breast Cancer Simulator Pad was developed with Thanyarak Breast Center at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, using medical data to simulate the feel of cancerous lumps as they most commonly present in the breast. Women can insert the pad into any bra they own to understand what they should be looking for when performing breast self-examinations.
Launching on World Cancer Day (February 4), the Breast Cancer Simulator Pad is a first-of-its kind product currently available for free online and in Sabina’s 542 stores across Thailand with the purchase of any ฿1,500 (USD$45) Sabina product until 31 October 2023.
The brand also intends to expand distribution across partner malls in the country, aiming to produce upwards of 35,000 Breast Cancer Simulator Pads in 2023 to raise awareness and drive action to save the lives of women across the country. Sabina and VMLY&R are currently working on co-patent registration for the product.
According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localised stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. However, advanced methods of breast examination are not accessible to all women as they are costly and require a visit to an equipped hospital.
Therefore, in many parts of the world, the best and most accessible early detection method is a woman’s own hands. However, in practice, women are unaware of how a cancerous lump feels, leading to a low rate of detection, with research showing that only 20-30% of Thai women perform breast self-examinations correctly and consistently.
As a leading underwear brand providing high-quality bras to Thai women for almost three decades, Sabina is keen to lift the life-threatening risk of breast cancer off women’s chests by making self-examination easy and more effective. Every year, Sabina bras touch the breasts of approximately 6 million women in Thailand and 12 countries in Asia and the Middle East, making it the most directly pivotal touchpoint the brand has with their consumers.
Duangdao Mahanavanont, Chief Executive Officer, Sabina, said: “Breast care is one of our most important missions. For over 17 years, Sabina has carried out projects that uplift the lives of breast cancer patients. Thanks to our partner VMLY&R Thailand, the Breast Cancer Simulator Pad can now educate women on performing effective breast self-examination, helping to close the gap caused by the shortage of breast cancer screening machines, to save lives.”
Yupin Muntzing, Chief Executive Officer of VMLY&R Thailand, said: “Breast cancer incidence in Thailand has doubled over the past 15 years. Each year, Sabina runs its Sewing Cup Sewing Heart campaign, a donation project which engages organisations and volunteers to sew breast prostheses for patients in need with a provided sewing kit.
This year, we had a chance to get involved, and decided to go a step further by developing an idea for prevention, which would not only create awareness, but also provide a real solution for early detection.
“Our team worked tirelessly to understand the need and overcome challenges of inaccessibility of breast screening in Thailand, working closely with the Thanyarak Breast Center to gain a full understanding of breast cancer to ensure the product’s effectiveness for educating consumers on breast self-examination.
As an agency we always seek to harness creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands that drive value for our clients and impact the world, and here we are, the world’s first Breast Cancer Simulator Pad, which has the potential to change or even save the lives of women across the globe!”
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