At the NCCS, my role involves preparing patients and performing initial checks on them before sending them to the radiographers for CT or MRI scans. The scans allow doctors to better understand the patients’ conditions pre- or post-treatment progress.
I play a part in providing them assurance and building up their confidence before treatment. I interact with patients a lot, and sometimes, I provide a listening ear. As treatments are costly, it added greater financial burden to the patients on top of the appalling sufferings they had to endure from the illness. Patients shared with me how they managed to raise money for treatment, and a few took extreme measures of selling flats to fund their treatments.
Seeing how much these cancer patients are giving up every material goods they possessed in order to survive, there are moments when we as medical professionals, are faced with a hard truth to be told to the patient – that is, treatment options have been exhausted. This is without a doubt, the last thing we ever want to convey to the patients. Cancer is nevertheless complex and develops in various forms, hence the need to constantly seek new ways and means to eliminate it.
This is why in NCCS we place such great emphasis on cancer research, so that we could understand the complex biology of cancer and constantly develop new treatment options to tackle the different forms of cancers. The NCC Research Fund was set up to raise a substantial pool of funding to sustain a variety of cancer research. Some aimed at finding treatment methods that are more affordable, some to better detect cancer early so that it can be more treatable.
Although I am non-research staff, I am glad I can support efforts that pave the way for a cancer-free future for our patients by being part of Run For Hope. I strongly urge everyone to join me in doing our part for cancer research so more lives can be saved.
Melanie Tan, Senior Staff Nurse at NCCS Oncologic Imaging