Walking with the stars

SINGAPORE - Well-known MediaCorp artistes Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun faced a packed audience as they talked about a very private procedure - their first-hand experience on colonoscopy health screening at the Walk-the-Talk.

The private event was held at the newly-built Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital on July 21.

The charismatic couple, who took up the challenge to undergo the colonoscopy at the state-of-the-art specialist centre two days earlier, did so in a bid to raise awareness on the increasingly common colon cancer and the importance of early colorectal screening.

Organised by Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC), the Walk-the-Talk affair buzzed with laughter and smiles as the local celebrities detailed their personal colonoscopy journey, performed by Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Dr Teoh Tiong Ann.

Speaking candidly about his first colonoscopy experience, a blushing Edmund Chen said: "Even on the day itself, I was making excuses not to go through it but I'm so glad I did it because the whole procedure was painless. The best part of all, it took less than half an hour."

"With the experienced doctors here at PCC, it was a smooth cruise!" added the 51- year-old actor.

Sharing these sentiments was veteran actress Xiang Yun who also credited the team. "The doctors here are so competent and professional. You shouldn't be afraid of going through it; take the baby steps to do it for your own health," she said.

Taking responsibility of one's health was also the highlight of the event where Medical Director at PCC, Dr Ang Peng Tiam, mentioned the need for more Singaporeans to opt for early colorectal screening as they reach 50 years old.

"Colorectal cancer is the leading cancer in Singapore. Even the Ministry has recognised this and the importance of such health screening, that it has liberalised the use of CPF Medisave to encourage people to go for colonoscopy," Dr Ang said in his opening speech.

He asked: "Why do we want to wait until you get colorectal cancer when you can identify and prevent it?"

Dr Ang said a big "thank you" to the celebrity couple.

"This will encourage the public, including your friends, to do their part in looking after their own health," he said.

Chairman of the Singapore Cancer Society, Mr Choo Eng Chuan, who was among those who had undergone for the colonoscopy screening that morning, advised: "Overcome your apprehension and anxiety, after all, prevention is always better than cure."

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