February 4 is World Cancer Day. It is commemorated annually in many countries, because cancer remains a global scourge, killing more than 8.2 million people in 2012. These mortalities will rise by about 70% over the next two decades, according to World Health Organization data.
Dismal as the numbers are, there is cause for hope. Scientists are discovering and learning more about the nature of the hydra-headed beast, and developing new treatment options. Beginning with this issue, we take a look at some of the work that is being done by our own scientists here at NUS Medicine. We also hear from a cancer patient, who shares how a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer has re-shaped her outlook on life and priorities.
Palliative medicine, so integral in the care of the very ill and the dying, is little understood and seldom appreciated in Singapore. In the first of a series, Dr Noreen Chan talks about the misperceptions that hinder patients and their families from receiving the kind of palliative care that would help to ease pain and discomfort.
To round off this first issue of 2017, meet a long-serving staff member of the School, Mr Krishnan s/o Kumaniar. In the four decades that the administration officer has worked here, he has seen generations of medical students come and go, worked through the tenure of seven deans and along the way, raised a family between him and his wife. He says job satisfaction and the fellowship of friends and colleagues are the reasons he has stayed: the School is grateful to him and the 106 other staff who have given so many years of their lives in service to the institution, and who still serve faithfully and competently.