Doctor determined to debunk myths about cancer with new book
Consultant oncologist writes book to help clarify misconceptions of disease
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Singapore. Last year, 29.1 per cent of deaths were due to the disease.
Despite the prevalence of cancer, there is still a lot of misinformation on it. Throughout his career, oncologist Wong Seng Weng has had to clarify common misconceptions about cancer among his patients.
And this motivated him to write a book about the disease.
Now, Dr Wong, 48, has launched his bilingual book, A Doctor's View On Cancer - Knowledge And Treatment, at Popular BookFest@Singapore 2018, which is held at Suntec Convention Centre from now until Dec 23.
In collaboration with the launch of Dr Wong's book, Popular has also launched its 95th Anniversary Charity Drive, Read Books, Give Hope. So $7 will be donated to the Singapore Cancer Society for every copy of the book sold.
A medical director and consultant medical oncologist at The Cancer Centre (Singapore Medical Group), Dr Wong wrote the guide with the aim of debunking popular myths, inaccuracies and half-truths, some of which he shared with The New Paper.
Myth 1: Cancer is a death sentence
The disease can be beaten into remission if diagnosed early. A positive mindset in accepting and completing the treatment is important, said Dr Wong.
"If you are emotionally weak and give up the fight, even the best technology in the world is not going to be able to help you."
Myth 2: The evaluation and treatment of cancer provokes it to spread
Delay only worsens the disease, making recovery more challenging.
Said Dr Wong: "Some patients believe that you should try to peacefully coexist with cancer with special exercise or diet, rest and sleep. It is not true.
"Cancer cells are like terrorist cells in our body - there is no way to peacefully coexist."
Myth 3: Elderly cancer patients are too weak to receive treatment
Data suggests that an elderly person can have the same rate of recovery from cancer as a young person.
Dr Wong emphasised that it is important to not be biased or to undermine older patients' ability to recover.
Myth 4: It is possible to "starve cancer to death" by going on special juice diets
Not eating properly only weakens the body.
Dr Wong asserts that a healthy diet with balanced nutrients is vital in both preventing cancer and keeping the body healthy enough to recover.
According to Dr Wong, it is projected that in the next few decades, around half of people in developed countries will contract some form of cancer and that it is good to prepare.
"We have to think about putting aside enough resources, ensuring we have enough insurance or medical protection before the problem comes."
Dr Wong added: "However healthily we live and try to reduce the risk, screening for the common cancers is still important."