Actress Janice Koh reveals battle with tongue cancer after diagnosis in July
“For me, an actor, the discovery of this tumour was a huge blow because I knew it would have a tremendous impact on my speech and my work," she wrote in an Instagram post.
Singaporean actress Janice Koh shared in an Instagram post on Saturday (Nov 12) that she’s been battling tongue cancer. She wrote that the diagnosis in late July brought her life “to a standstill”.
Koh explained in the post that what started as a small ulcer, which she ignored as she continued to work and travel, “turned out to be malignant”. She underwent two surgeries in the last three months, then chemo radiation treatments to remove any visible cancer and reduce the chances of it coming back.
“For me, an actor, the discovery of this tumour was a huge blow because I knew it would have a tremendous impact on my speech and my work. Yet there was never any doubt that my priority was to survive this, to live, and to be around for my kids and my family for the long term,” said the 48-year-old theatre and TV actress, who has two sons with her husband Lionel Yeo, the outgoing Singapore Sports Hub CEO.
“So I told my doctors to do what it takes to make me better, and I am thankful that it was discovered at a treatable stage.”
Koh, who also served as a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2012 to 2014, shared that with treatments now completed, “the focus is on rest, recovery and getting back on my feet”.
The actress, who also appeared in the hit Hollywood rom-com Crazy Rich Asians, added that while her speech and eating have been “significantly impacted”, she was assured that these will “improve with therapy and time”.
Koh also related that she now has to learn new things such as “to slow down, to stay soft and be compassionate with myself, and to take the time to mourn, heal and embrace this new journey with loving kindness”.
And taking that lesson to heart, her next post was to share that she had gone to the Guns N' Roses concert on Saturday night at the National Stadium.
In June this year, Koh was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (or Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in recognition of her contributions to the arts and literature.