Surviving Breast Cancer

Three SJMC breast cancer survivors share why early detection matters

Ms Ng Siau Cheng, Stage 1 Breast Cancer Survivor

According to the American Cancer Society₁, if you have a strong family history of cancer, screening can prevent some types of cancer from happening or detect them early when they’re easier to treat. So, when Ms Ng Siau Cheng discovered a lump on her nipple, she knew she had to get herself screened because she had a family history of 3 members losing their lives to cancer.

Fortunately for Ms Ng, she was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer, which meant it the cancer was still at an early stage where it was easier to treat and with a relatively higher survival rate.

Throughout her treatment, she believed that the extensive care and innovative cancer treatment has given her the assurance to fight cancer with hope. Since completing her cancer treatment, Ms Ng has even gotten pregnant and is now a proud mother to her 4-year-old son.

To encourage other cancer patients, Ms Ng shares “Never give up hope to accept treatment. The scar is a sign of our strength, the sign of a SURVIVOR.” 

Pn Syanor Ain, Stage 2A Breast Cancer Survivor

While at home and clearing her annual leave between December 2016 to Jan 2017, Pn Syanor found a lump the size of a green bean on her breast. After speaking to her colleague, she decided to do a medical check-up under her company just to find out what the lump was.

From the medical report, everything looked good except for the lump, which was suspected to be malignant. From there, she was referred to Professor Emeritus Dato' Dr Yip Cheng Har, a breast surgeon who was also one of the first few women surgeons in Malaysia₂.

Pn Syanor shared that just before she received her breast cancer diagnosis from Professor Emeritus Dato' Dr Yip, she was diagnosed with Chronic Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a blood disorder characterized by an abnormal decrease in the number of platelets in the blood₃. Her condition, along with her pending surgery was monitored closely by a multidisciplinary team, including a Haematologist - Dr Alan Teh who was there to advise and monitor on her blood platelet count and an Oncologist - Dr Matin Mellor, who looked into her post-surgery treatment.

Since becoming a survivor, Pn Syanor now advocates strongly for others to do their medical check-ups and health screenings regularly. “Don’t wait until something worse happens to your body,” she advises.

Ms Vimala Thevi Ganesan, Stage 2 (Triple Negative) Breast Cancer

Ms Vimala Thevi Ganesan has been extra cautious about her breast health since she was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2018. In January 2022, she felt a small lump on her left breast and without delay, scheduled for a mammogram to get it checked.

Unfortunately, the news came back to confirm that she had a recurrence.

“SJMC was never new to us. There are a handful of experienced, caring doctors around, so I chose to be treated here.” 

Her late mother, who was a Stage 4 Breast Cancer survivor had received treatment in SJMC and had survived for more than 10 years after. Similarly, her son who was diagnosed with Leukaemia was also treated here and is doing well now.

Going through her treatment for the recurrence of breast cancer this year, Vimala says that “Life is full of challenges, but we as women are exceptional because we have the ability to overcome any struggle that life brings on. Whatever, you are going through your life at any moment, have faith and courage that all will be OKAY soon. Pain and struggles are temporary. Never forget that you are special, and you are not alone!”