KUALA LUMPUR: The fight against cancer is not just about the pain the patient goes through as it also involves emotional turmoil.

National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) president Datuk Saunthari Somasundaram said cancer is not just an illness but also a formidable adversary to confront.

She said when her mother was diagnosed with cancer 30 years ago, support was not available to help patients or survivors, adding that they had to deal with it on their own.

Their many questions were unanswered as doctors were concentrating more on fighting the disease.

“Treating cancer alone is not enough. A person needs social support while dealing with the illness. NCSM stepped in to help people understand what cancer is all about and how to deal with it.

“The society also provides answers to those who feel helpless. Some just have simple questions such as: ‘How do I tell my family I have cancer?’”

Saunthari said some patients wanted to know how they could help their family deal with cancer as it would effect them as well.

Speaking at the 13th Malaysian International Conference on Holistic Healing from Cancer 2023, Saunthari said mental health and well-being are integral to the healing process.

She stressed that families of cancer patients must understand the importance of mental health and openly discuss the disease and get the needed help.

“Cancer support groups are crucial in helping those going through cancer treatment.”

Saunthari said healing from cancer is tough and the unwavering support from family and friends makes it easier.

Also present at the conference was Group CEO, Berjaya Land Bhd Syed Ali Shahul Hameed. He represented the guest of honour Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who founded the Berjaya Group of Companies.

At the conference, Syed Ali helped to launch the book Cancer Chronicles, My Personal Journey 2023.