Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the number one cancer among Singaporean women. It usually occurs when harmful (malignant) cells originate from the cells lining the milk ducts and glands. In advanced breast cancer, cancerous cells can spread through the breast to the rest of the body.

According to the Singapore Cancer Society, 1850 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and more than 400 would die from the disease.

Symptoms

  • Changes in size, shape or appearance of breast
  • Changes in surface of skin on the breast
  • Lump or thickening in the breast
  • Nipple invertion
  • Peeling, crusting, flaking skin around the areola or breast skin
     

Diagnosis

Biopsy
A breast biopsy is done to determine the presence of breast cancer.


Screening

Mammogram
Mammogram is a screening tool that can detect the presence of lumps and growths in the breast. During the screening, a technologist will place the woman's breast on a plate while another plate will be used to press the breast from above; flattening and holding it still while the X-ray is taken.

Women above 40 are advised to go for mammogram once a year. However, those who present with a family history and/or other underlying health conditions may need to consult with their physician for other required measures.

Breast Self-examination

Women above 20 are strongly encouraged to perform Breast Self-examination (BSE) monthly to check for any abnormal lumps or growths. BSE could be done in the shower or when lying down, before one retires for the night.

Here's how to perform a BSE:




 

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