PM Lee's message
Contributed by Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore (24 August 2001)
To many Singaporeans, cancer is a terrifying disease which they hope not to get, and prefer not to think or talk about. But in reality cancer is not uncommon, nor is it untreatable. Some types of cancer can be completely cured. With many other types, early diagnosis and proper treatment makes a big difference.
The patient's attitude matters a lot, and so does the support of family and friends. When I was undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, I received many messages of concern and encouragement from well wishers. They cheered me up, and helped me to soldier on.
I particularly remember a passage in one book I was given. It said that a positive outlook may or may not cure you of cancer, but it will certainly make the disease easier to bear, and will help you live life to the full despite the cancer. I found this helpful, realistic advice, although not always easy to follow.
When cancer strikes a person or his family, often we are reluctant to talk about it. But there is nothing shameful or unmentionable about having cancer. Talking about it helps you to unburden yourself of worries and fears, and allows others to let you know that you are not alone, and help is available.
CancerStory.com is doing a good job helping Singaporeans to overcome this psychological obstacle. I hope my posting will encourage others who have experienced cancer also to join the CancerStory.com community, and so be of some help to cancer sufferers and their families.
With best wishes
Lee Hsien Loong