A Guide To Recommendations and Screening Tests for Breast Cancer

According to recent statistics from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women. With 12,735 breast cancer cases detected from 2017 to 2021, the critical importance of understanding health recommendations and screening tests for breast cancer has been crucial for early diagnosis and successful treatment.

Taking charge of your health is an empowering act. As a woman, prioritising your well-being is essential for yourself and your loved ones. In this article, we equip you with crucial information about breast cancer screening procedures, empowering you to make informed decisions regarding your breast health journey.

Who Should Undergo Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer can affect women of all ages, although the risk increases with age. Women aged 40 and above are recommended to undergo regular breast cancer screening. However, individuals with a family history of breast cancer or specific genetic mutations may need to start screening at an earlier age.

Women between 40 and 49 years old should talk to their doctors about when to start and how often to get a mammogram. Our senior breast specialist and surgeon, Dr Andrew Lee, provides personalised care and guidance to ensure patients understand their options and feel empowered to make informed decisions. He is your compassionate partner, offering unwavering support and assistance in every aspect of your breast health journey.

What Are Methods Of Breast Cancer Screening

The primary screening tool for breast cancer is mammography, which uses low-dose X-rays to detect abnormalities in breast tissue. In addition to mammograms, clinical breast exams performed by doctors and self-breast exams can also help in detecting any changes in the breasts.

Types of Breast Cancer Screening

  • Mammography is a type of X-ray imaging that creates detailed images of the breast tissue. During the procedure, the breast is compressed between two plates to spread out the tissue, allowing for a clearer image to be captured. It is highly effective at detecting abnormalities, such as tumours or calcifications.
  • Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the breast tissue. This imaging technique is helpful for women with a high risk of breast cancer or those with dense tissue, as it can provide additional information that may not be visible on mammograms.
  • Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the breast tissue. In certain cases, it is a supplemental screening tool that provides more information about a specific area of concern identified in mammography or clinical examination. It is a non-invasive procedure and does not involve radiation exposure, making it safe for repeated use.
  • Genetic testing involves analysing a person’s DNA to identify specific genetic mutations associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, such as mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. This type of testing may be offered to individuals with a family history of breast cancer or those who meet specific criteria based on personal or family medical history.

When to Start Breast Cancer Screening

Determining when to start breast cancer screening depends on various factors, including age, family history, and individual risk factors. In Singapore, guidelines typically recommend that women begin regular mammograms around 50. Women must consult their doctors to assess their risk profile and determine the most appropriate age to initiate screening.

Breast Cancer Screening Schedule

How Much is a Breast Cancer Screening

The cost of breast cancer screening can vary depending on factors such as the type of screening method used, the healthcare facility, and insurance coverage. In Singapore, mammograms are subsidised for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents through various government health initiatives.

Some private healthcare providers also offer mammograms at competitive rates. Women should check with their healthcare providers or insurance companies to understand the cost implications of breast cancer screening and any available subsidies or coverage options.

Empowering Women Through Early Detection: Breast Screening at Andrew Lee Breast Clinic

Early detection is critical in the fight against breast cancer. Undergoing regular screening helps identify potential problems at their earliest stages for more effective treatment options and higher chances of a successful outcome. Open communication with your doctor, understanding your risk factors, and following a personalised screening plan are crucial to ensure your well-being.

Our team at the Andrew Lee Breast Clinic, led by Dr Andrew Lee, is here to support you on this journey. We understand that navigating breast health concerns can be overwhelming, and we are dedicated to providing compassionate care and guidance throughout your experience.

Schedule a consultation with Dr Andrew Lee to discuss your breast health needs and concerns.

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