Emotional support important in cancer fight

I applaud the column by Associate Professor Allen Yeoh ("Rewarding to help kids overcome spectre of cancer"; yesterday).

Even with modern medical technologies, cancer remains an incurable disease, and doctors and patients continue to put up a strong fight against it.

Adult patients may be more mature and mentally prepared to accept the treatment that follows after diagnosis. This may not be the case for young patients.

They may not be able to fully comprehend the purpose of the aggressive treatment, including operations or chemotherapy, let alone the side effects that follow.

They may even miss out on one of the most important stages of their lives - growing up carefree - not forgetting the emotional and financial stress and pain their parents have to cope with.

Besides medical treatment, it is important to give patients and their families hope and confidence to fight against cancer.

No medicine can do this.

Perhaps hearing the stories of cancer survivors can provide strong emotional support and even be a source of informal information for patients and their families.

With medical assistance from professionals and emotional support from cancer survivors, we can bravely face cancer.

Lim Lih Mei (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Emotional support important in cancer fight'. Print Edition | Subscribe