Navigating the Cancer Maze with Professor Francis Seow Choen , The Journey from Cancer Patient to Famous Colorectal Surgeon

January 24, 2014
Hosted by Grace Gawler

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Today my special guest is Dr Francis Seow-Choen from Singapore. As a little boy he became medically famous when diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma; the first recorded case in Singapore. After diagnosis & an arduous 6 months that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment; he survived! He was just 7 years old. Today, Dr Francis Seow-Choen is Medical Director and Senior Consultant at Fortis Colorectal Hospital in Singapore. He is an internationally recognised colorectal surgeon and had previously held posts as the Head and Senior Consultant - Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, Director of the Endoscopy Centre and Director of Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre (see Guest profile). The professor is an ardent entomologist, husband, father and above all he is a surgeon & survivor who beat the odds and inspires others through his life and vocation. Fortis website More at

Navigating the Cancer Maze

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Navigating the Cancer Maze aims to share time-proven strategies in a “Let’s talk about it” atmosphere with the aim of making the journey through cancer more easeful through knowledge. The program is solutions focused for patients at all stages of cancer. Acknowledging and dealing with fear and trauma surrounding cancer is essential for any Health Restoration Plan as is pre-planning for any setbacks that are likely to be met along the way. Although we hear a lot about cancer in the news, for many patients cancer remains a personal, silent and deeply unexpressed grief. It is important to acknowledge the reality of a cancer diagnosis, while being authentic about process and keeping possibilities open. The best outcomes are experienced when the best of conventional medicine is paired with the best of complementary supported by an empowered patient.

Grace Gawler

For almost 4 decades Grace Gawler has been the “rock” for thousands of cancer patients who seek her guidance and strategies. Grace has also assisted those who struggle to manage adversity and uninvited changes that life challenging or life threatening illness can bring. At 21, Grace became a full-time care-giver to her boyfriend. She married him, a cancer amputee with a poor prognosis. He survived and they established a non-profit organization to support people going through the trauma of cancer and other life challenging illness. She created Australia’s first breast cancer support group and residential program which led to authoring Women of Silence: the emotional healing of breast cancer, a 1994 best seller which remains a bible for women with breast cancer. Grace has worked in Government creating a new Women’s Health Plan. She was awarded the prestigious inaugural Rotary International Jean Harris Award for Services to Women in Society. In 1997, Grace experienced not only the collapse of her marriage but was soon hospitalized. Complications from a routine surgery created a major health crisis. After 20 surgical procedures over 13 years, she faced death many times. A bionic surgical procedure in the Netherlands gave her back life and vitality. Grace has survived and thrived and is passionate about helping others to walk in the field of all possibilities and navigate the cancer maze. She has her own cancer charity and consults to Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic in Germany.

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