4 Singapore celebrities who battled breast cancer

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"Remember: If there’s something you want to do, just do it. Don’t wait.” Here is a list of famous breast cancer survivors in Singapore who battled the odds and emerged successful...

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in Singapore today. One out of every 17 women in Singapore is likely to be affected by breast cancer, with more than 1,850 new cases diagnosed annually. Here is a list of famous breast cancer survivors in Singapore who battled the odds and emerged successful.

List of famous breast cancer survivors in Singapore

Pan Ling Ling

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One of Singapore's most famous cancer survivors, actress Pan Ling Ling felt a lump in her left breast in 2012, but "thought it was just due to menses approaching."

Two months later, she was diagnosed with early Stage 2 breast cancer. Only when the surgery was scheduled did she inform her husband of the dreaded news.

"I told my husband that since I’m pretty and tall, God is probably jealous and wants to take things from me by cutting two lines across my body. My husband was shocked and worried upon hearing the news", she had told theAsianparent.

After the surgery, she went through chemotherapy for six months, then for 25 consecutive sessions of radiotherapy. 

But, the fighter that she is, Pan Ling Ling refused to let the illness bring her down. In fact, she says that, "Breast cancer made me gain more than I had lost..."

The experience brought her family - husband Huang Shinan, and sons Beckham and Kynaston, closer. She now exercises regularly, and makes sure that the family eats lots of fruits and vegetables. 

Pan Ling Ling has been cancer-free for almost five years now. She has been forthcoming about speaking about her cancer experience, and giving dietary advice and tips.

Koh Chieng Mun

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Much before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, veteran actress Koh Chieng Mun was a strong advocate of breast screening.

In fact, it was during a breast self-examination in 2005 that she noticed a lump in her right breast. Worse was to follow.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45, doctors also found a tumour in her left kidney.

Fortunately, both the tumours were eventually removed in an 8-hour long operation. Chieng Mun, best remembered as the housewife Dolly on "Under One Roof", began six months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

It has been more than 12 years now, and Koh Chieng Mun remains a strong advocate of breast cancer screening. She has since then returned to showbiz. In fact she was last seen in Crazy Rich Asians.

Lum May Yee

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What 45-year-old former model-actress Lum May Yee suspected to be a milk duct, turned out to be Stage 2A breast cancer. She had just finished breastfeeding her youngest child then. She then went through 4 gruelling rounds of chemotherapy.

The disease went into remission in 2016. To lower the chances of a relapse, May Yee had her ovaries and uterus removed after her doctor's recommendation. Today, she works in the jewellery business.

Dealing with cancer changed her outlook towards life. May Yee tells Elle.sg, “It’s only through adversity like this that you find out just how truly strong you are. [Cancer] is what it is. You just have to deal with it, suffer through, and then you build yourself back up again."

"I no longer take things for granted, especially time with my family. Remember: If there’s something you want to do, just do it. Don’t wait.”

Foyce Le Xuan

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You might remember former singer-actress Foyce Le Xuan. In 2010, she had filed a police report, accusing director Jack Neo of making sexual advances.

In 2015, Foyce revealed that she had been struggling with breast cancer for two years. She had gone for a full-body check-up after experiencing abnormal bleeding and irregular periods.

It was a disease that ran through her family. Her father was only the second man to be diagnosed with breast cancer in Singapore.

She had then told The New Paper, "Even though my father had breast cancer before and I appeared very strong to several media outlets, the test results were actually a very big blow to me."

Foyce went through two operations on her right breast and another operation to remove uterine polyps that were responsible for bleeding.

She also had to put her singing career on hold because of the disease.

Foyce revealed that she suffered from weight gain, severe mood swings and lack of self-esteem, especially while undergoing hormone treatment. 

"It wasn't the physical pain but the emotional pain that brought me to the lowest point in my life", she had shared.

Today, Foyce is a successful entrepreneur, and is in the news again, for slightly "different" reasons. Lady Luck has been on her side when it comes to the 4D lottery. She keeps winning every week!

Also READ: 6 Singapore celeb mums who braved through difficult pregnancies

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