It was an infection, soon after his latest round of chemotherapy, that led to the sudden death of DBS chief Richard Stanley (left). -- PHOTO: REUTERS
HOW do you deal with a cancer that attacks blood?
Early diagnosis and treatment improve the odds of beating fast-spreading blood cancer, or acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML).
But it was an infection, soon after his latest round of chemotherapy, that led to the sudden death of DBS chief Richard Stanley on Saturday.
In fact, doctors had felt that Mr Stanley's AML was treatable when it was diagnosed in late January.
Mr Stanley, 48, went to see a doctor when he had flu-like symptoms, including fever and a cough, over the Chinese New Year holidays.
Tests over the next three days confirmed he had AML.
The bad news came just nine months after he became chief executive of Singapore's biggest bank.
He took leave, for up to six months, and began chemotherapy treatment at once.
In a staff memo then, DBS chairman Koh Boon Hwee said doctors felt Mr Stanley's condition was treatable and full remission was possible.
Haemologists who spoke to The Sunday Times on Saturday explained that AML is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells.