A cloud of darkness shrouds our mind stirring up a number of unpleasant emotions – unfathomable fear, misery and worries about the imminent future – every time we hear the word 'cancer'. However, with the remarkable advancement in medical technology, today, even with cancer, we can hope.
The Art of Healing – Lifestyle that Fights Cancer brought to you by Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC) and Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore, was one such event that sparked a resolute hope in the hearts of every guest attending the session. The support group meeting, which was an interactive session between accomplished physicians and guests, began at 7pm at the elegant Banquet Hall of Six Seasons Hotel.
“Cancer is a serious ailment, but no matter what we face in life we should always have a big smile on,” said Solaiman Shukhon, Head of Marketing at Aamra Networks Limited and the event moderator, who took the stage with a beaming face.
Commending PCC and Gleneagles Hospital on their numerous years of hospitable services to patients, he called upon Max Tan, Marketing Manager of PCC on the stage who spoke briefly about the various services provided at PCC and CanHOPE, a non-profit cancer counselling and support service provider by PCC.
The next speaker, Dr Freddy Teo, a Senior Consultant of Haematology, PCC, spoke on the prospects of stem cell research in curing cancer.
“Stem cells are of different kinds and can be used to cure a large range of diseases,” he said. Dr Teo further demonstrated how different cells are extracted from different parts of the body and can be used to cure various ailments. In fact, stem cells can be used to cure certain heart, lung and eye diseases as well.
'Eating right for good digestive health' – was the topic of the next speaker, Dr Lui Hock Foong, Senior Consultant of Gastroenterology at Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore. To simplify the description, he broke down the digestive system into three parts and began to explain sequentially.
He expressed concerns regarding 'Fatty Liver' – a condition where the storage facility of the liver is over burdened with fat deposition – a global epidemic today! He further spoke about colon cancer and admitted that the main contributing food item is red meat.
“Dietary control and exercise go hand in hand and if you can implement both, you can surely have a sound and healthy life,” he advised strongly pointing to his concluding 'Keep Calm & Exercise' slide in the background.
Dr Foong then opened the floor for questions.
“Is it okay to consume 'entacyds' to relieve daily acidity?” one of the guests questioned. Dr Foong responded that it is acceptable to some extent but if the problem is recurring over a long period of time then one should definitely consult with a physician.
The next session involved sharing stories between cancer survivors, patients and the guests.
“They are not just survivors, they are warriors and winners who celebrate life,” Shukhon claimed as a huge round of applause reverberated across the hall when he invited the first speaker Najmus Sakib Bahauddin Ahmed, Founder of Bangladesh Cancer Aid Foundation and Chief Executive Office of Lighthouse Bangladesh, on stage.
“This country has a large number of underprivileged people and they need help in availing palliative care,” he added and encouraged people to extend a hand to help those in need, before ending his heart rending story of survival.
Alimul Haque, former Ambassador of Bangladesh and Rezoana Nahid, Counsellor at Prime Asia University spoke next. They both expressed how grateful they were to the doctors for helping them recover.
Nahid explained how she found herself in utter darkness when the news of cancer was first broken to her and today, she was standing there alive and not a hint of distress was visible on her visage.
Dr Aysha Siddika, Consultant Dietician at the Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital was the next to take the podium and she delivered a brief speech on top cancer fighting foods, along with some notes on food one should avoid.
“Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are necessary to stay fit,” she stated, emphasising on the importance of having a balanced diet. Dr Siddika's presentation was followed by a Yoga & Meditation session conducted by Anika Rabbani of Yoganika fame. The guests present seemed to de-stress as Rabbani instructed them to take deep breaths and clear their minds off negativity for the session.
After a relaxing session of meditation, the guests moved on to the lobby right outside the Banquet Hall where a grand surprise awaited them!
The tables lined up against the walls were laden with exquisite fruits, vegetables and flavourful sauces of all kinds. Dividing the guests in eight teams, Shukhon announced that there would be a Salad Making Competition and introduced everyone to acclaimed Chef Daniel C Gomes who would be conducting and judging the contest.
After an energy-filled session of slashing vegetables and seasoning with sauces, two teams were chosen as winner and runners-up.
The guests, famished after an intense contest, then proceeded to indulge in a lavish dinner at the Hall. The awe-inspiring event concluded with an Award Presentation Ceremony and Vote of Thanks presented by Zahid Khan, Director at the Dhaka Office of Parkway Hospitals, Singapore.