After going through surgery, 68 year old Madam Tan Guat Lay, had to deal with another problem. She had breast cancer-related arm lymphedema which affected her quality of life.

 Mdm Tan Guat Lay SCS CRC Client1

Madam Tan Guat Lay was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer last year. According to her Doctor she had 3 different types of cancer cells which made the situation more complicated.

She recalled, “When I first heard the news it was devastating. Usually I am an optimistic person. But this news was something that I could not believe and accept. She added, “It was through a routine check-up in a hospital for my rheumatoid arthritis that the Doctor advised me to go for mammogram. Then I realised that it has been 11 years since I went for mammogram. A cyst was found after the mammogram and I was referred back to the hospital for a biopsy. The result came back and the cyst was cancerous.

She knew she had to make a decision quick and asked the Doctor what the next step is. The doctor told her to go for a surgery to remove the cyst. A whole cluster of lymph nodes were also removed in the process. She had to go through 3 different types of medicine for her 6 rounds of chemotherapy in a 5 hour session each.

Madam Tan had to go through therapy sessions to manage her lymphedema (a condition of localised fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system), which was caused due to the removal of her lymph nodes. She was referred to Singapore Cancer Society Rehabilitation Centre (CRC).

The cancer survivor said, “I like the environment in CRC. The staff are very efficient and engaging. The therapist is able to explain to me in detail on how to improve my condition. Her encouragement meant a lot to me. It took about 9 months to bring down the swelling of my hand. I am so glad that I was introduced to this place.

She advises other cancer patients to believe and have hope. She said, “If you are living with cancer and need help to enhance the daily function and quality of life go to the SCS Cancer Rehab Centre. No matter what comes, accept your situation and go on.”


Learn about SCS Cancer Rehab Centre

The first of its kind in Singapore, our rehabilitation centre provides integrated care to address the needs of cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

This community-based rehabilitation centre largely serves non-acute cases which do not require frequent hospital follow-up. Our rehabilitation team works with patients and caregivers to determine rehabilitation goals and craft personalised programmes.

Benefits of Cancer Rehabilitation:

  • Focuses on the needs of clients in their cancer journey
  • Reduces challenges in the client's rehabilitation journey
  • Monitors client's progress and needs to help attain a new state of normalcy
  • Provides caregivers a platform to address their needs and reduce stress
  • Gives clients opportunities to learn, interact, and support one another


Learn more here: https://www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/get-help/cancer-patient/join-a-cancer-rehabilitation-programme.html

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