• SCS joins the global cancer movement for the first time to commemorate Cancer Survivors’ Day – SCS to continue organising it annually in Singapore 
  • Opening of Singapore’s first tertiary Cancer Rehabilitation Centre in NCCS highlights importance of rehab care as an integral part of cancer recovery and survivorship 
SINGAPORE, 1 June 2024: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Patron of Singapore Cancer Society, graced the SCS Cancer Survivors’ Day celebrations and officiated the opening of the NCCS-SCS Rehabilitation Centre on Saturday, 1 June 2024 – held in conjunction with the SCS’s 60th anniversary and NCCS’ 25th anniversary. He was accompanied by Ms Jane Ittogi. 

The day commenced with SCS’ Cancer Survivors’ Day carnival which saw a flash mob performance by cancer survivors to welcome President Tharman and Ms Ittogi. The event which was organised by SCS at NCCS was one of the many events SCS has organised over the years to celebrate the remarkable journeys of cancer survivors. 

Cancer Survivors’ Day, a global event, is a treasured celebration of life held around the world, where people from all walks of life come together to celebrate and honour the strength and resilience of cancer survivors, through community celebrations. 

This is the first year that SCS is joining the global cancer movement, and it will continue to organise the event annually in Singapore to raise awareness about the disease, celebrate those who have triumphed over it, provide inspiration to other cancer patients, rally the public to show support, and most importantly – celebrate the lives of the cancer warriors. Specially curated activities and performances, including food and game booths were set up for all to enjoy. As part of SCS’s commitment to support cancer survivors, the "Gift of Hope" and the "Gift of Dream" care kits, specially curated with the cancer warriors in mind, were disseminated. 

President Tharman’s and Ms Ittogi’s presence at the event sent messages of hope and encouragement, reflecting to the community that minimising cancer and maximising lives remains a priority, as we rally the community to do more together to improve cancer survivorship rates in Singapore. 

With the rise in cancer survivorship rates and to improve the quality of lives for cancer patients, SCS – the pioneer for cancer rehabilitation in Singapore, recognises the pivotal role of cancer rehabilitation in the recovery journey to help cancer survivors return to normalcy in life. A diverse range of programmes and services to help them return to the workplace and community have been implemented by SCS over the years. 

The NCCS-SCS Rehabilitation Centre is the first tertiary rehabilitation facility in Singapore dedicated to providing multi-disciplinary rehab care to newly diagnosed cancer patients who are preparing to start treatment, patients who are in the midst of treatment, and those who have just completed cancer treatment. These groups of patients often have more complex medical needs that may require regular specialist intervention while they receive rehabilitation. For example, some may experience symptoms or treatment-related side effects such as abnormal blood counts and bone pain, which require closer monitoring in a healthcare setting while they undergo rehabilitation. With the opening of this new rehab centre, patients can conveniently receive the clinical and rehabilitation care they need under one roof at NCCS. The NCCS-SCS Rehabilitation Centre is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals which includes rehabilitation medicine physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and speech therapists, who are experienced and equipped to provide tertiary level rehabilitation care for patients with cancer. Working together, the team will devise safe and efficient rehabilitation care plans for each patient, taking into account any symptoms or treatment-related side effects the patient may be experiencing. In line with the national Healthier SG strategy, after patients complete the tertiary rehabilitation care they need at the NCCS-SCS Rehabilitation Centre, they will be seamlessly transited to community rehabilitation providers to ensure they remain well supported in the community. 

Professor Lim Soon Thye, Chief Executive Officer, National Cancer Centre Singapore, said, “This year, NCCS celebrates 25 years of delivering quality cancer care and continuously improving treatment outcomes for our patients. With rising cancer incidence in Singapore, we are pleased to partner the Singapore Cancer Society to set up the NCCS-SCS Rehabilitation Centre to provide cancer rehabilitation that is part of each patient’s overall treatment plan so that they have support to improve their quality of life from treatment to recovery and long-term survivorship. We believe this resource will benefit many cancer patients and survivors to keep healthy and well in the years to come.” 

SCS currently offers a comprehensive continuum of rehab support through its community oncology rehabilitation services to help patients transition from acute care to community care. This is further augmented by the community-based rehabilitation programmes put in place in partnership with SportSG (ActiveSG Gyms), where survivors can continue to undergo rehab in the heartlands nearer to their home, to continue their rehabilitation journey. 

With the opening of the new NCCS-SCS Rehabilitation Centre, SCS is moving upstream to partner with public health institutions to develop cancer rehab in the pre and during treatment phase and completes the full suite of rehab services offered by SCS as part of an integrated continuum of cancer care. 

Albert Ching, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) said, “The Singapore Cancer Society is thrilled to join forces with one of Singapore’s largest cancer organisation, the National Cancer Centre Singapore in establishing a first-of-its kind cancer rehabilitation centre. This partnership brings together our shared commitment to providing comprehensive rehabilitation care for cancer patients as they navigate the arduous journey towards cancer survivorship. Our partnership allows us to pool resources and expertise to provide the care needed for cancer patients. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by this disease. SCS is immensely grateful to have the unwavering support of NCCS. This signature initiative enables SCS to pursue our mission of “Minimising Cancer and Maximising Lives”, driving us forward in the fight against cancer.” 

As SCS commemorates its 60th anniversary of providing cancer care and control, and NCCS commemorating its 25th year of advancing cancer care, both organisations look forward to forging ahead with strategic developments and partnerships to further improve the lives of the cancer community.