Last month, a friend's wife who's only 48 years old, went for her Mammograms Screening and was told that she had lumps found in one of her breasts. She was then admitted to the hospital for further biospy followed by surgery and the result: the tumours measured more than 2cm were MAGLINANT! From that moment on, the whole world crashed down upon her and she has to be on chemotherapy treatment of which may result in some side effects like hair loss being the most prominent, loss of weight and appetite, etc.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Singapore women.
•1 in 5 cancers occurring in Singaporean women is breast cancer.
•Every year, about 1100 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed. This translates to 3 women being diagnosed with
breast cancer each day.
•About 270 die from the disease each year.
•1 in 20 women in Singapore will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
•The incidence is highest in women aged 55 to 59.
Four in five women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors. So it is important to know how to protect yourself and reduce your risk of getting the disease.
To Protect Yourself Against Breast Cancer
1. Practise a healthy lifestyle.
•Be physically active. Exercise 3 – 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time
•Maintain a healthy weight.
•Eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in fats with an emphasis on good fats
(monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) over bad fats (saturated and trans fats).
•Limit alcohol intake to less than one alcoholic drink a day.
•Breastfeed children instead of formula feeding them (if possible).
2. Be aware of breast cancer and its symptoms.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
In early stages of breast cancer, there is usually no pain and there may be no symptoms at all. As the cancer grows, the following symptoms could appear:
•a persistent lump or thickening in the breast or armpit area.
•a change in the size or shape of the breast
•a dimpling or puckering of the skin (like orange peel)
•blood or discharge from the nipple
•a newly retracted (pulled in) nipple
3. Screen yourself for breast cancer regularly. Early detection offers more treatment options and a better chance of
survival and recovery. Take charge of your own breast health and detect changes in your breast through the
•Breast Self Examination
• Clinical Breast Examination (by a healthcare professional)
Never be afraid to examine your breasts or to have them examined. Finding out that you do not have breast cancer is more important than the time and effort required for an examination, or any discomfort you may feel.