Singapore—Health-wise, it’s been a challenging time for former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, who has had to undergo not one but two procedures in the past few weeks.
The 79-year-old Mr Goh took to Facebook late on Wednesday evening (Dec 16) to write that after his recent trips to the hospital to remove a kidney stone and to biopsy a suspicious nodule in his larynx, he now has to undergo 20 sessions of radiation therapy over the next four weeks to ensure that no cancer cells remain in his body.
Mr Goh explained that squamous cells had been found in the nodule in his larynx, but, “Fortunately, after excision, the MRI of the neck and the CT scan of the chest showed no trace of these bad cells.”
Despite this, however, he still needs radiation therapy.
“Just like the weather these days, it never rains but pours for me medically….
What a way to celebrate the festive season!”
The former Prime Minister, who stepped down from public duties before the General Election in July, said that he has shared his “medical episodes” for a purpose, to encourage every person to have their regular or yearly health screenings.
And while he wrote that he does not have a subsidised programme for screening for potential illnesses, the Ministry of Health does have a subsidised Screen for Life programme for all Singaporeans.
Mr Goh underlined the importance of early detection and treatment, especially in cases similar to his, as this would exponentially enhance a person’s chances of survival.
“For those who may experience a lump in the throat and a change in the voice, see an ENT doctor. Ignorance, delay and denial may be costly. Spot and treat the cancer early, the 5-year survival rate is over 90 percent. Do it after it has spread, the survival rate drops to below 30 percent.”
And in the meantime, Mr Goh seemed in good spirits and expressed the hopes of a good prognosis before long.
“My thundery showers will pass. I am looking forward to clear blue sky before the Chinese New Year — and more good years thereafter.
Season’s Greetings and good health to all. — gct”
Friends and supporters flooded Mr Goh’s post with good wishes for a speedy recovery and a complete return to health.
Others thanked him for being so open about his health issues as this is beneficial to others.