Whereas different college students usually take a spot 12 months to journey or work abroad, Mr Shaun Lim was compelled to take one after his first 12 months in college when he was recognized with most cancers in July 2019.
Since then, he has undergone two main operations and several other cycles of chemotherapy for sarcoma, a uncommon however aggressive tumour that happens in bones or the smooth tissues of the physique.
Mr Lim, 24, remains to be present process chemotherapy, however has been again in class since final August, and stayed in class regardless of a relapse.
The psychology scholar on the Nationwide College of Singapore, who’s now in his third 12 months of research, is one in every of many most cancers sufferers who’re surviving the battle.
Nationwide Most cancers Survivors Day, which falls on the primary Sunday of June – June 6 this 12 months – was established in 2005 to lift consciousness of most cancers survivors who proceed to dwell life to the fullest. The theme for this 12 months is “Nothing is not possible; I am potential”.
Globally, most cancers incidence has been growing and is prone to proceed to rise with an ageing inhabitants, says the Nationwide Most cancers Centre Singapore (NCCS).
Nonetheless, most cancers survival charges have additionally been bettering, due to earlier diagnoses by way of screening measures, and enhancements to therapy and post-treatment care.
The Singapore Most cancers Registry, in a report launched in March, mentioned that the survival fee of most cancers has risen from 53.1 per cent within the interval between 2008 and 2012 to 56.7 per cent between 2014 and 2018.
Help from household and family members is significant on a affected person’s street to restoration, mentioned Dr Teh Yi Lin, NCCS director of most cancers training and data providers, and affiliate marketing consultant within the division of medical oncology.
However she additionally cautioned that encouragement and false positivity could typically come throughout as discounting the affected person’s emotions.
She mentioned: “Permit the one you love to precise his or her emotions when they’re comfy to take action and reassure them that it’s regular to really feel down, fearful or fatigued.”
Dr Teh added that sufferers can also wrestle with a way of loss, together with of their place in society. In such instances, relations and family members are inspired to assist the sufferers reintegrate into their traditional routine, modifying it when crucial.
Mrs Cheryl Wang, 39, who works within the well being and security sector, mentioned she is grateful for the assist from her household and colleagues throughout her therapy and restoration.
A nodule was detected in her proper lung after she signed up for a well being screening in December 2018.
However she postpone the physician’s advice to go for additional checks till mid-2019 as a result of work commitments.
The tumour was then discovered to be cancerous. She had surgical procedure on the Nationwide Coronary heart Centre Singapore and was recognized with stage two lung most cancers in July 2019.
The sickness meant a bunch of unwanted side effects from chemotherapy and being unable to attend her cousin’s marriage ceremony and go on household holidays, however Mrs Wang mentioned she has a lot to be glad about.
Her husband took on a lot of the load at house throughout her restoration, and her then three-year-old son was understanding of her situation and aware of her surgical procedure wound regardless of his younger age.
She added that her colleagues had been fast to defend her from high-risk duties when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Mrs Wang mentioned: “In 2020, earlier than the circuit breaker, my colleagues had been activated to assist the administration of Covid-19 that carried dangers of getting contaminated.
“My boss was conscious that the dangers of Covid-19 to me had been greater than to my colleagues, so he determined to go away me out of these duties.”
She undergoes a computed tomography scan annually, to examine that her most cancers has not reappeared. She mentioned she is wanting ahead to many extra celebrations – Kids’s Day along with her son, her birthday and Christmas.
As for Mr Lim, he’s nonetheless suffering from many unwanted side effects corresponding to nausea, vomiting and hair loss from his most cancers therapy.
However this has not stopped him from persevering with along with his research and even making time to volunteer at NCCS’ Adolescents and Younger Adults Help Group, the place he’s serving to to create new engagement and outreach plans for such sufferers.
“I am up for extra initiatives within the coming months as properly, and I am simply excited to part of one thing greater than myself,” he mentioned.