Is cancer really a "jinx" word?
Very often, I received feedback from members of the public that they have not heard of CancerStory.com despite my
efforts at garnering 18 TV and radio interviews and 30 write-ups by various media since its launch in September 2000. They
only came to know about its existence through search engines when their loved ones are diagnosed of cancer. It is often not until we have a personal experience about something that we really learn about it.
Initially, I felt apologetic that I had not done enough in raising awareness of CancerStory.com, and continued to
play the "media game" until one day, I realized that the problem lies with the people's mentality. It is pointless trying
to get more free publicity (especially as it does not come easily), when most people will not be interested to read, watch or
listen to any news about CANCER when they are "cancer-free". Many people tend to shun away from the word CANCER. Hence, I will stop playing the "media game".
On one occasion, I was disturbed by the remark made by an overseas friend who felt that she might have contracted cancer because of her acquaintance with me. How could a well-educated person make such a baseless remark? I was baffled. One week later, I was relieved to learn that her tumour was benign. Since she is
mindful about the word CANCER, perhaps, it is time for her to end our friendship. However, she still needs
my help in many ways while she continues to work in Singapore. This incident reminded me about the plight
of health-care workers during the SARS outbreak. Perhaps it is only natural for most people to behave foolishly on the verge
of life and death.
The incidence of cancer is on the rise in Singapore. Most of us will die of an illness, be it cancer, heart attack, diabetes,
stroke, and etc. Cancer is just another illness. Let us face it and be open about it.
Posted on 22 November 2003