Breast cancer survivor seeks to motivate other patients

Corporate banker Daphne Tan was diagnosed with an early-stage but aggressive breast cancer in 2016. She has been given the all-clear since.
Corporate banker Daphne Tan was diagnosed with an early-stage but aggressive breast cancer in 2016. She has been given the all-clear since. PHOTO: COURTESY OF DAPHNE TAN

Corporate banker will share her story at event today, as part of celebratory weekend

When corporate banker Daphne Tan was just three, her mother lost her fight against breast cancer.

So when Ms Tan was diagnosed with an early-stage but aggressive breast cancer during a routine scan in 2016, she was dejected.

"When the doctor broke the news, I was very sad. I thought about what would happen to my family," said the 39-year-old, who has a four-year-old daughter.

"I told myself to fight on, so that I can grow old with my daughter and be present for the different milestones in her life."

As part of the cancer survivorship celebratory weekend, Ms Tan will share her experience today at an event held at Our Tampines Hub, where there will also be health talks.

A charity rowing event was held at Marina Bay yesterday to raise funds in aid of cancer survivors.

These two community events are part of the National Cancer Centre Singapore's (NCCS) efforts to celebrate and empower cancer survivors, who may face challenges such as employment problems and psychological struggles even after the completion of treatment.

 
 
 

Ms Tan, who underwent surgery and chemotherapy, has been given the all-clear and has returned to work.

But she also has to take care of her father, who was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago but is responding well to treatment.

She said: "It's important to share my story. By sharing, I can motivate those who are going through the same thing. I've gone through it, so I know how they feel."

At yesterday's charity rowing event, cancer survivors and doctors were joined by alumni from the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore. Funds raised from the Row for Hope 2019 Boat Races will go towards the NCCS Cancer Fund, which provides financial help to needy patients and improvements in equipment to enhance patient care, among other things.

NCCS medical director William Hwang likened rowing to battling cancer, where strength and perseverance, among other attributes, are needed.

"That's what fighting cancer and surviving it are about," he said.

"We should embrace this spirit as we work together towards making more cancer survivors in future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 09, 2019, with the headline 'Breast cancer survivor seeks to motivate other patients'. Print Edition | Subscribe