Closing care gap in cancer awareness, continuum of cancer care

by | February 5, 2023

Singapore Cancer Society partners the National Cancer Centre Singapore and National University Cancer Institute.


World Cancer Day 2023 marks the strengthening of partnership to “Fight Cancer in North West”. From left to right: Albert Ching, SCS CEO; Assoc Prof Ravindran Kanesvaran, deputy chairman and senior consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, NCCS; Alex Yam, Mayor of North West District; Wee Leong How, chairman of SCS; Prof Chng Wee Joo, director, NCIS; and Steve Luo, general manager, North West CDC.


To commemorate World Cancer Day (WCD), the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) is joining forces with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) to fight cancer in the North West district by co-organising the World Cancer Day Carnival. The event was graced by the Mayor of North West District, Alex Yam, as the guest-of-honour.

The tripartite partnership for World Cancer Day is part of a long-term collaboration between the three cancer organisations to close the care gap in cancer awareness and the continuum of cancer care in Singapore. It is the second year that World Cancer Day is carrying the theme of #closethecaregap.

Albert Ching, CEO, SCS said, “We are excited to start the year by closing the care gap through partnership with NCCS and NCIS on World Cancer Day. An average of 44 people are diagnosed with cancer every day in Singapore. There is an imminent need for cancer care providers to collaborate in prevention efforts and in providing integrated care plans for patients along the spectrum of their cancer journey.”

Targeted at families and the public, the World Cancer Day Carnival hosted activities and a programme line-up that aimed to educate and empower visitors to learn more about cancer controls and prevention, as well as cancer support services available for patients, caregivers and their loved ones. Visitors could sign-up to attend a series of talks by cancer care experts from the three organisations, listen to inspiring personal stories of cancer survivors, tour the carnival booths featuring cancer education activities and games or break a sweat by participating in a Zumba workout alongside cancer survivors. Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Kit, a preliminary test kit to screen for colon cancer symptoms, were also distributed at no cost to participants above 50 years of age. On stage, special performances by SCS’ youngest Goodwill Ambassador, Glenn Yong and cancer support group members entertained the audience.

Prof William Hwang, Chief Executive Officer, NCCS, said, “Closing the cancer care gap takes concerted effort from various healthcare partners and the community at large. We hope this partnership will spark more collaborations in the future to support patients and families who are coping with cancer and generate more awareness in the community about the importance of screening and regular exercise for cancer prevention.”

Prof Chng Wee Joo, director, NCIS said, “This year’s World Cancer Day Carnival brings cancer care education closer to the residents in the North West district. In tandem, NCIS will continue to work towards bringing our services closer to residents through initiatives such as NCIS On The Go. We also look forward to the new cancer rehabilitation centre that NCIS and SCS will be setting up together in the West later this year.”

The government’s Healthier SG plan focuses on preventive care and empowering citizens to take charge of their health. With the partnerships, SCS, NCCS and NCIS are committed to supporting this by promoting cancer awareness so that more people go for screenings and adopt a healthier lifestyle to reduce cancer incidence.

In addition to cancer education and prevention, SCS has also been partnering with the two key national centres to make cancer care more seamless and comprehensive. In the first quarter of 2023, SCS headquarters and its flagship Cancer Rehabilitation Centre will relocate to the new NCCS building. With this co-location within NCCS, cancer patients who require financial aid, welfare, rehabilitation or hospice support, will no longer have to travel to multiple locations for assistance, making it hassle-free and more convenient. Direct medical care from NCCS and additional assistance from SCS can be easily obtained, all under one roof.  A similar concept will be seen at SCS’ upcoming centre co-located with NCIS at Jurong Medical Centre.

In 2018, SCS and NCCS inked a partnership for the adoption of genetics screening to identify potential cancer genes in high-risk and financially-challenged individuals, so they can be put on close surveillance.

Following the World Cancer Day Carnival, SCS continued the tradition of World Cancer Day commemoration light-ups with a total of nine buildings/landmarks decked in orange and blue.


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