International Women’s Day 2021 – #ChooseToChallenge

8 March 2021

The 8th of March marks International Women’s Day, and this year the theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’. Annually, International Women’s Day celebrates women and their achievements. It is a day to celebrate the women in our lives and the amazing things they achieve daily. More than this, however, International Women’s Day wants to raise awareness for gender equality. 

As a Doctor… 

As a doctor, I would like to take the opportunity today to not only thank the women in my life but to touch on an issue I see too often as a doctor and a surgeon. Women often dismiss symptoms or delay seeking medical attention when they experience signs of various conditions. 

As someone who is married to a strong and independent woman, I can see why many women may ignore symptoms or put off making a doctor’s appointment when they experience pain or discomfort. Many may put their needs and health second between maintaining successful careers and managing the needs of their families. 

However, many diseases and conditions are more responsive to treatment if caught earlier on. For example, colorectal cancer is an extremely treatable form of cancer, and early detection drastically increases one’s chances of recovery. 

Some symptoms of colorectal cancer include

  • Changes in bowel movements including, constipation or diarrhoea 
  • Continuous abdominal discomfort including, cramps and gas 
  • Weakness and fatigue

The symptoms I have listed above can often be confused with the symptoms women experience during their menstrual cycle. This may lead to many female patients postponing a visit to the doctor. This is why I urge that women listen to their bodies and the symptoms that they are presenting with. If you are experiencing symptoms that have persisted for an extended period of time, seek medical attention. 

As a Husband… 

As a husband, I want to take today to appreciate my wife and daughters. As CEO of G&L Surgical, my wife, Lisa Gwee Ganesh, is busy running daily operations both behind the scenes and at the clinic itself. Still, she takes the time to raise our girls with strength and kindness, always ensuring that they are given the tools they need to grow to their full potential. 

Having been recently interviewed by Prestige magazine for International Women’s Day, she took her chance to encourage women to achieve their goals. She is a firm believer that women no longer need to choose between family and career. 

Lisa Gwee Ganesh, Prestige, International Women's Day

In the midst of this, she still finds the time to give back to the community and help the needy through her volunteer work with The Rotary Club Singapore. I am filled with pride and gratitude that I am able to call her my wife and support her in everything she does. 

In summary, I am thankful for the supportive women in my life and hope that International Women’s Day serves as a reminder to women everywhere to challenge themselves to take better care of and prioritise their health. 

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