SINGAPORE – Whereas different college students sometimes take a spot yr to journey or work abroad, Mr Shaun Lim was pressured to take one after his first yr in college when he was identified with most cancers in July 2019.
Since then, he has undergone two main operations and a number of other cycles of chemotherapy for sarcoma, a uncommon however aggressive tumour that happens in bones or the tender tissues of the physique.
He’s nonetheless present process chemotherapy, however has been again at school since August 2020, and stayed at school regardless of a relapse.
The psychology scholar on the Nationwide College of Singapore, now in his third yr of research, is considered one 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 yr – was established in 2005 to boost consciousness about most cancers survivors who proceed to dwell life to the fullest. The theme for this yr is “Nothing is not possible; I am attainable”.
Globally, most cancers incidence has been growing and is prone to proceed to rise with an ageing population, says the Nationwide Most cancers Centre Singapore (NCCS).
Nonetheless, most cancers survival charges have additionally been bettering, because of earlier diagnoses by screening measures, and enhancements to therapy and post-treatment care.
The Singapore Most cancers Registry, in a report launched in March this yr, 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 important on a affected person’s highway to restoration, mentioned Dr Teh Yi Lin, NCCS director of most cancers schooling and knowledge providers, and affiliate guide, division of medical oncology.
However she additionally cautioned that typically encouragement and false positivity might come throughout as discounting the affected person’s emotions.
She mentioned: “Enable your beloved to specific his or her emotions when they’re comfy to take action and reassure them that it’s regular to really feel down, nervous or fatigued.”
Dr Teh added that sufferers may battle 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 typical 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 on account of work commitments.
The tumour was then discovered to be cancerous. She had surgical procedure on the Nationwide Coronary heart Centre Singapore and was identified with stage 2 lung most cancers in July 2019.
The sickness meant a number of negative 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 grateful for.
Her husband took on many 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 have been fast to protect her from high-risk duties when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Mrs Wang mentioned: “In 2020, earlier than the circuit breaker, my colleagues have 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 have been greater than to my colleagues, so he determined to depart me out of these duties.”
She at present undergoes a CT scan yearly, to make sure that her most cancers doesn’t reappear.
She mentioned she is trying ahead to many extra celebrations – of Youngsters’s Day together with her son, of her birthday and of Christmas.
In the meantime, Mr Lim continues to be affected by many dangerous negative effects similar to nausea, vomiting and hair loss from his most cancers therapy.
However this has not stopped him from persevering with together 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 tasks within the coming months as effectively, and I am simply excited to part of one thing greater than myself,” he mentioned.