Photography exhibition featuring breast cancer survivors opens at Ion Orchard

SINGAPORE – When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, Ms Nurhana Abdul Ghani’s first thoughts were for her two young children.

Her daughter was in primary school, while her son was about three years old.

“I wondered: what was going to happen to them? Who would take care of them? And could I really watch them grow?” said the 38-year-old official.

She is currently cancer-free and even had another son about a year after her last chemotherapy session.

Ms Nurhana is one of 25 breast cancer survivors featured with their children in a photography exhibition launched on Thursday June 16 by the social service agency Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF), which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Nine notable Singaporean photographers, including Mr. Russell Wong and Ms. Lavender Chang, participated in the project.

The exhibition will be open to the public free of charge at the Ion Art Gallery in the Ion Orchard shopping center from Friday until the end of the month, after which a digital version of the exhibition will be available to the public for the rest of the year.

In her speech at the event, BCF President Staphnie Tang said early detection of breast cancer can increase survival rates.

Citing a recent report from the Singapore Cancer Registry, she said the five-year survival rate for women whose cancers were discovered at an early stage had improved significantly over the past 50 years, from 49.9% at 82.1%.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who attended the event, told guests at the launch that preventive care for breast cancer is one of the main programs of the Ministry of Health.

He also said: “If we can just be more aware of the threats and risks of various diseases around us (and) take early action…you can avoid so much pain and suffering.”

Other guests at Thursday’s event included Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Law Rahayu Mahzam and GRC MP Sembawang Poh Li San.

Tracey L. Sweeney