Forum: Cancer prevention strategy works through multiple channels

The Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) affirms the importance of preventive health and education in the cancer fight (Focus more on obesity as a cause of cancer, Sept 7).

Certain cancers are preventable by reducing the modifiable risk factors, such as obesity. Healthy lifestyle choices - regular exercise, a balanced diet, being smoke-free, moderating alcohol consumption and going for regular cancer screening - have a significant impact on the risks of developing cancers.

Therefore, cancer prevention is an important strategy for us. Last year, more than 100,000 individuals benefited from SCS' cancer screening programmes, public education, financial and welfare services, psychosocial support, rehabilitation programmes and hospice care.

SCS' cancer prevention strategy works through multiple channels, including school programmes and workplace and community initiatives.

We focus on educating the public about the importance of going for regular cancer screening, and provide screening services for breast cancer and cervical cancer at our SCS Clinic@Bishan. Kits are also available to help test for anomalies connected to colorectal cancer.

Cultivating healthy habits from a young age to prevent cancer is a mission that we carry in our youth outreach programmes including school talks, workshops and inter-school competitions. For instance, the Smoke-Free Ambassador Programme aims to raise a generation of smoke-free advocates.

Awareness programmes for gastric cancer and colorectal cancer specifically emphasise a healthy and balanced diet to reduce modifiable risk factors.

Living a healthy lifestyle holistically is a key message that SCS advocates at our various cancer awareness campaigns and flagship community events throughout the year.

The annual Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer, happening on Sept 18 to 25 for the 14th year, is an example of how SCS is promoting active lifestyles while contributing to the cancer cause.

Another flagship event, the Singapore Cancer Society-TalkMed Relay For Life movement, encourages individuals to fight back against cancer by committing to healthy habits and sharing their stories on social media to inspire others.

The current public education for non-communicable diseases, helmed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), addresses risk factors for some cancers and areas of prevention. These include healthy living messages around obesity, diet and physical activity.

SCS will continue working with partners such as the Ministry of Health and HPB to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. Let us all work together in this collective fight against cancer.

Geraldyn Lim

Chief Operating Officer

Singapore Cancer Society

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