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Development of a National Public Educational Facility for Preventing Cancer : Progress, Problems and Lessons Learnt. ICISG, UICC, Washington 2006. Flora Yong, Senior Nurse Manager, Cancer Education & Information Service National Cancer Centre Singapore.

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Development of a National Public Educational Facility for Preventing Cancer: Progress, Problems and Lessons Learnt

ICISG, UICC, Washington 2006

Flora Yong, Senior Nurse Manager, Cancer Education & Information Service National Cancer Centre Singapore

10 most frequent cancers
10 Most frequent cancers

Percentage of all cancers

Percentage of all cancers



In 1993 the Singapore Health Ministry approved

the establishment of a cancer center to:

coordinate a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment,

undertake training and education of medical, radiation and surgical oncologists and other allied health personnel,

develop relevant clinical and basic research program in the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various cancers.


Cancer education & information service

Established in August 1999

to coordinate

public and patient cancer education

for the National Cancer Centre

with the long term mission

of minimizing the frequency of

incurable cancers in Singapore.


Provide accurate and credible information

Develop and deliver effective cancer education programs that promotes a healthy lifestyle

Provide specialized counseling, support and linkage

Collaborate with other agencies related to cancer and control


Cancer Helpline

Manned by experienced oncology-trained nurses

Anonymous, private and confidential counseling service

OnCall - A Computerized counseling and consultation system

Telephone, email, face-to-face

Advisory panel of cancer experts


Public education programs

Assist to obtain knowledge, skills & positive attitudes

Provide credible, up-to-date and evidence-based information to improve health seeking behaviour

Collaborate with other agencies


Cancer publications

Develop patient and public education materials in print and multi-media formats.

38% of patients have read some form of information before diagnosis

Information is updated 2 yearly


Public cancer website development

Provide information on common cancers, risk factors, screening, treatment, research and links to other websites.


Barriers and problems

Poor public response at cancer education events – Cancer is TABOO

Manpower – staffing, staff competency & experience

Communication & language barriers

Conflict of interest & Competition


Long & irregular work hours


Lessons learnt

Be passionate, be patient, be involved

Build a strong team

Create, collaborate & communicate

Market yourself & your programmes

Learn from mistakes & make improvements

Take risks & challenges

Be diplomatic, be tactful, be supportive

Cora Honing, Director of Prevention and Patient Support, Dutch Cancer Society

Ingrid Aubry, Manager Cancer Awareness System, French National Cancer Institute

Monika Preszly, Manager, Cancer Information Service, German Cancer Research Center

Flora Yong, Senior Nurse Manager Cancer Education & Information Service National Cancer Centre Singapore