Breast Cancer Screening

Depending on your age, the following is recommended

Age 20-39 yrs Age 40-49 yrs Age 50 yrs & above
Do breast self-examination (BSE) once every month

Go for a clinical breast examination once a year

Go for a mammography screening

*

**

*Once a year
**Once in 2 years unless otherwise recommended by a doctor

Note: Age recommendations are only guidelines and may differ for those with a family history of breast cancer or those who have other risk factors. Consult your doctor on our screening schedule.

Breast Self Examination

Breast Self Examination (BSE) should be done once each month by women 20 years and older.

The best time to do BSE is 7-10 days after the start of menses, when the breasts are least tender. If you no longer menstruate, do BSE on a fixed date every month, for example the first day of each month.

Clinical Breast Examination

  • Women 40 years and older should go for a Clinical Breast Examination once every year. This is an examination of the breast tissue by a healthcare professional.
  • Clinical Breast Examinations can be done at your GP clinic or polyclinic, or at a Gynaecological clinic.
  • The healthcare professional, usually a doctor, will palpate (feel) both your breasts and do a visual examination. If he/she finds anything suspicious, you will be referred for further testing (such as a mammogram/ ultrasound/ biopsy) or recommended a follow-up after a certain length of time.
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Mammography Screening

Mammography screening is a low-dose x-ray examination of the breast that can pick up very small breast cancers. During mammography screening, the breast is gently flattened between two plates of the X-ray machine for a few seconds, to spread the tissue apart and get a good image of the breast. Images of the breast are taken and developed by a radiographer (a technician) who then hands the X-ray films to a radiologist (a doctor) to check for abnormalities.

It is recommended that women aged 40 - 49 should go for mammography screening once a year, and women above 50 should go for one once in 2 years.

Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer occurs when breast cells divide and grow without control, sometimes invading surrounding tissue.

Breast cancer can be classified generally as follows:
  • Non-Invasive Breast Cancer
  • Invasive Cancer
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer

Treatment

Everyone's treatment is different. To help doctors decide on the best treatment, the stage of the cancer needs to be determined.

  • Surgery
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy or Radiotherapy
  • Hormonal Therapy

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