Pan Lingling’s breast cancer journey

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In this second of a two-part series, Pan Lingling opens up to SmartParents on how she coped with breast cancer.


1. What physical and emotional changes did you notice when you had breast cancer?
Before I underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, my doctor had advised me to cut my hair because I would start losing it once the treatment started but I didn’t want to because I wanted to experience hair loss. I lost most of my hair. You just pull it [hair] and it comes off in bunches. My eyebrows and eyelashes were all gone. I also put on around 10kg. However, I stayed positive throughout the illness. The only time I broke down was when my elder son posted a message on Instagram that read, ‘My mommy is a warrior’.

2. How was it like going back to work after the cancer scare?
I actually looked forward to going back to work because I had not been acting for a year before that. My first assignment after the health scare was Channel 5’s Mata Mata 2. It was my first English-speaking role in a drama and very different from the Channel 8 dramas I’d acted in. I also got a chance to star opposite Rebecca Lim, whom I had not acted with before, so I was very excited about the opportunity.

3. How have you been taking care of your health after the health scare?
I used to simply eat whatever I wanted, but now I make sure to include fruits and vegetables in my and my family’s diet. I also exercise more now ― I do figurobics exercises daily and play golf.

4. What advice do you have for breast cancer patients who are trying for children?
Although breastfeeding can be a challenge for breast cancer patients, I still encourage women to try for a baby once the cancer is under remission because that is the beauty of being a woman. This also gives women a reason to fight the illness every day.