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World Cancer Day

Rainbow after the storm

Cancer survivors share their stories

Every day, about 37 Singaporeans find out that they have cancer, according to the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS).

Cancer is a top killer in Singapore, claiming the lives of more than 17,000 people from 2013 to 2015, according to official statistics.

Despite the harm that cancer can bring, not only is survival conceivable, but living with dignity and purpose is, too. Today is World Cancer Day, and this year's theme, decided by the Union for International Cancer Control, is "We can. I can."

The commemorative day was established in 2000 as part of the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, France. It seeks to raise the global profile of cancer in the hope of promoting support and solidarity for cancer patients worldwide.

The Straits Times speaks to four cancer survivors, each of whom has gone through different trials and tribulations.

They were first featured on citizen journalism website Stomp as part of its World Cancer Day campaign.

Despite being blindsided by cancer, the four survivors share the same grim determination in the face of adversity. By sharing their journeys, they hope to dispel perceptions that cancer is an unconquerable illness.

As part of SCS' World Cancer Day activities, it is organising an overnight relay on Feb 18 and 19 at Bukit Gombak Stadium. The Relay For Life event will see participants run or walk around the track at their own pace, with appearances by local celebrities such as Benjamin Kheng and Nick Shen and a performance by singer Nathan Hartono.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2017, with the headline 'Rainbow after the storm'. Print Edition | Subscribe