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Cancer

  • Why Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

  • What is Cancer?

    A cancer doctor looking at x-rays looking for signs of cancer

    Cancer is a type of disease characterised by the abnormal growth of cells. Your body consists of trillions of cells that serve a diverse range of functions. These cells all follow an orderly code in their genes that govern their behaviour.

    When the cell’s genetic code is altered or damaged, it can behave in an unpredictable manner, such as failing to perform its intended functions and growing abnormally. When this happens, the cell can multiply until it forms a mass called a tumour.

    Tumours are generally classified as benign or malignant. When it demonstrates limited growth and does not spread to other parts of the body, it may be considered to be benign. Such tumours may not be considered cancerous and generally less dangerous.

    Malignant tumours occur when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body in a process called metastasis. When this happens, the cancer cells invade and destroy normal cells in your body. This can have disastrous consequences on your health, and if left untreated, can cause your quality of life to rapidly deteriorate.

    There are more than 100 different types of cancer, and some cancers, such as leukaemia, do not form tumours. Each cancer is a result of a different combination of errors in the cells’ genetic code and therefore each cancer can be considered as a different disease.

    Nevertheless,  cancer treatment has improved by leaps and bounds especially in recent years, and many cancers can now be treated effectively. This gives hope to many patients that they may return to living normal lives after treatment.

    You will stand a better chance of recovery when cancer is detected early. Therefore, do not hesitate to undergo regular cancer screening and consult a doctor if you notice any cancer symptoms.

    Cancers in Singapore

    Top 10 Cancers in Singapore (2010 – 2014)

    No. Male Female
    1 Colorectal Breast
    2 Lung Colorectal
    3 Prostate Lung
    4 Liver Corpus uteri
    5 Lymphoid neoplasms Ovary, etc.
    6 Skin, including melanoma Lymphoid neoplasms
    7 Stomach Skin, including melanoma
    8 Nasopharynx Thyroid
    9 Kidney & Other Urinary Stomach
    10 Myeloid neoplasms Cervix uteri

     

    Top 10 Cancer Deaths in Singapore (2010 – 2014)

    Ranking Male Female
    1 Lung Breast
    2 Colorectal Lung
    3 Liver Colorectal
    4 Stomach Liver
    5 Pancreas Stomach
    6 Prostate Pancreas
    7 Nasopharynx Ovary, etc.
    8 Lymphomas Cervix Uteri
    9 Kidney & other Urinary Lymphomas
    10 Leukaemia Leukaemia

    Ref: Singapore Cancer Registry Interim Annual Report, Trends in Cancer Incidence in Singapore 2010-2014

    Can Cancer be Prevented?

    A healthy patient free from cancer

    Cancer is not contagious like flu or a common cold. You cannot get cancer from someone who has it. Since it is a result of cell mutation, can cancer be prevented? It is recommended that by leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding certain risk factors, you can lower your risk of developing cancer.

    Examples:

    • Do not smoke — some studies have linked tobacco smoking with cancer
    • Avoid consuming processed or preserved foods regularly. These include ham, bacon, luncheon meat and salted fish or pickled vegetables
    • Stay active and exercise regularly
    • Avoid high-heat cooking methods such as barbequing and roasting, as carcinogens may form in your food at very high temperatures.
    • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun as ultraviolet rays have been linked to greater risk for skin cancer.
    • Wear protective equipment and comply with safety regulations if you work near cancer-causing substances, such as industrial chemicals.
  • Cancer Treatment

    Radiation therapy machine for cancer treatment

    Cancer research has made leaps and bounds over recent years, leading to effective treatments available for many forms of cancer. There are many approaches in cancer treatment depending on the type of cancer and its status. These can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other treatment approaches that can complement each other. Learn more about the cancer treatment available at Mount Elizabeth.

  • Recovery

    Female cancer survivor stretching before exercise

    Learning to Live with Cancer

    Being diagnosed with cancer can be very frightening. There is fear that the cancer treatment may not be successful, that the cancer will return, that it will be painful, and that you may not survive. All of these feelings are normal and understandable.

    It will assist in your recovery process if you have a positive attitude towards your diagnosis and treatment. Some people find that prayer or meditation helps. Others enjoy the company of people with whom they can share their feelings and explore the meaning of their experience with the illness. Many would agree that what matters most is love, laughter and taking pleasure in simple things in life.

    It will assist in your recovery process if you have a positive attitude towards your diagnosis and treatment. Mount Elizabeth provides rehabilitation services to aid you in your recovery, and Parkway Cancer Centre has a support team – CanHOPE, that provides patients with support and personalised care, working closely with medical and allied health professionals, to help patients and caregivers make effective and informed decisions in their treatment.

    Tending to the patient’s psychosocial health is just as important as treating them physically. Through CanHOPE, we strive to inspire hope in patients and their loved ones by helping them better cope with cancer. Its core activities include cancer counselling, nutritional advice, rehabilitation, education, care coordination and support group activities.

  • It’s Possible at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals

    Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Orchard Road, Singapore

    Mount Elizabeth Hospitals is committed to provide comprehensive and long-term care for our patients. You may also find more information on cancer and cancer treatment from the team of cancer specialists and support staff at Parkway Cancer Centre.

    Parkway Cancer Centre is home to a comprehensive suite of cancer treatments delivered by a highly skilled, multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, counsellors and paramedical professionals. They are aided by the latest technologies and proven innovative therapies to achieve optimal clinical outcomes for patients.

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