SINGAPORE - Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng has been diagnosed with stage 1 nose cancer, and is currently receiving treatment for his condition.
He disclosed this in a Facebook post on Friday (Jan 7). Mr Baey said he is currently in the middle of radiation therapy, which will be completed in end-January, after he was diagnosed in November last year.
He added that he is slowing down his pace of work during this period, with the help of his colleagues in Tampines and at the Ministry of Transport, where he is Senior Parliamentary Secretary.
"I am fortunate to have discovered my medical condition at an early stage, when treatment is simpler and there is a very high chance of survival," he said.
"I am still relatively young and have been keeping myself fit. Together with the strong support of my wife, family and friends, I am confident to overcome this challenge and recover well," said an upbeat Mr Baey, who is 51.
"Life has thrown me a curveball, but I will be fine!"
In a phone interview, Mr Baey told The Straits Times that he decided to go public with his condition because of the upcoming Edusave Award presentation sessions for his Tampines North constituency.
In his Facebook post, he sought the understanding of his residents that he will not be able to attend each of the 36 sessions lined up in the coming weekends, where nearly 800 certificates are to be presented to students.
He added that he was very grateful for all the kind thoughts and well wishes, which poured in on social media.
Side effects of his treatment could include getting tired more easily, added Mr Baey, who became an MP in 2006.
"The skin in my neck area is also expected to look sunburnt and my voice might change. Some radiation patients might lose hair at the back of the head.
"Luckily, the side effects I currently experience after four weeks of treatment have been manageable, such as mouth dryness, mouth ulcers, loss of taste and fatigue."
Unlike chemotherapy, Mr Baey said the therapy he is undergoing has not affected his immunity, which means he need not avoid crowds.
“So I’m still able to attend events. It’s just that when it’s a prolonged or strenuous activity then I would not be able to participate,” he said.
His doctor has also advised that he should carry on with his daily routine as much as possible. Mr Baey said he hopes to still continue with his weekly Meet-The-People Sessions, which are currently held virtually.
“I have my volunteers, activists to help me, but I think just one evening a week, I don’t see myself not being able to handle that,” he said.