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Thursday, 2 May 2013

More people in Singapore joining cancer support groups

Recently, I was interviewed by the Straits Times regarding cancer support groups in my hospital.

The website link :

http://www.sgh.com.sg/about-us/newsroom/News-Articles-Reports/Documents/Year%202013/03-Mar/20130316-STHT-FrontPage-B01%20-%20More%20people%20joining%20cancer%20support%20groups.jpg

There are currently 4 active groups namely in Breast cancer, Gynecology cancer (ovary, womb and cervical), Bone marrow transplant and the NPC OneHeart. The Upper GI support group has also being recently formed this year and there is also a Stoma support group (in colon cancer) as well.

In our own public forum, we found that those who join us are also non cancer patients or caregivers, but general public who want to increase their knowledge of the cancer.

The need for cancer support groups is increasing as more people try to find help in coping with cancer and the best form of support could be found from those who have gone thorough the cancer journey themselves. This group therapy program has been found to be beneficial in improving the coping strategy while facing cancer and more importantly provide a 1-1 peer support in all aspects.

Last week, I met with Becky, a staff member from the US based Imerman Angel group. This group provides 1-1 support, linking newly diagnosed cancer patients to cancer survivors and similar to our Befriender's program. Their founder, Johnny Imerman has been featured in the CNN Heroes series.

The websites link :

http://www.imermanangels.org
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/23/health/cnnheroes-imerman-cancer

Peter and Dave have volunteered to join this group as an "angel" and be a mentor. NPC is more prevalent in Asia and both of them will good mentors in an otherwise rare cancer in the Western population. But with migrants to US from the Asia countries, there could be rising cases.

Dr. Choo
Medical Adviser to NPC One Heart

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