Breast Screening In Singapore – What Should We Look Out For?

Breast cancer has been on the rise, particularly in the last three to four decades. Between 2011 and 2015, more than 9,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Singapore, according to the Singapore Cancer Registry. In Singapore presently, one in every thirteen to sixteen women would develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Keeping this statistic in view, it’s imperative for women to have medical checks, especially for Breast Cancer at regular intervals.

But even if there is significant awareness of Breast Cancer, women, especially in Singapore, are not aware of the procedures and the treatment methods for detecting and treating Breast Cancer.
There’s a dedicated worldwide day for Breast Cancer keeping the objective of making women aware of breast cancer as much as possible and there are different campaigns worldwide as well in institutions and elsewhere.
The point being made is that even if there’s sufficient awareness of breast cancer, women or people, in general, do not have ample idea regarding breast cancer. And so, we are obliged to let you know about the significant matters that are important to know or understand regarding breast cancer and why we should do a yearly breast screening.

Procedure for Mammography-

Mammography or A mammogram is an x-ray that allows doctors to see any abnormalities or changes in the tissue of the breast. Regular mammograms are one of the most effective ways to detect early signs of breast cancer, which is why it’s the first go-to option for doctors in detecting breast cancer.

Mammography is a type of x-ray that is used to examine the breast. The machine captures an image of the breast with any underlying abnormalities using low-energy x-rays.

Film-screen mammography and digital mammography are the two basic forms of mammography (also known as full-field digital mammography) that are widely available and used today. The primary difference between them is whether the breast image is being recorded on photographic film or digitally on a computer.

The examination or testing method is the same for both forms of mammography. First, a professional technologist places the breast between two clear plates and gently compresses it. After that, a specialised x-ray machine takes two photographs of each breast from two different angles. Breast compression is required to lower the thickness of the breast, which improves image quality by eliminating overlapping shadows.

Is Mammography Painful?

The amount of pain or feeling no pain at all depends on the woman as it varies from woman to woman. Some exhibit no pain at all, while some women may feel different amounts of pain, and those with firm and dense fibrocystic breasts are more likely to feel some mild discomfort.

The pressure from the testing equipment against the breast causes some discomfort in most women throughout the X-ray process. This barely lasts a few minutes in most cases.

During the test, some women may endure excruciating agony. The following are some of the elements that influence the intensity of pain or discomfort experienced:

  • Menstrual Cycle.
  • Breast Positioning.
  • Breast Size.

Who should take Mammography?

Breast cancer in its early stages frequently has no symptoms. For women aged 50 and up, the HPB (Health Professional Board) recommends mammography test every two years. Women between the ages of 40 and 49 should obtain medical counsel on the benefits and drawbacks of mammography. If a screening is done, the HPB recommends that it be repeated every year.

If you notice any symptoms or changes in your breast, you should see a doctor to ascertain if you need a mammogram.
The following are the symptoms that you should be on the lookout for-

  • A mass or lump in the breast.
  • Breast swelling that affects all or a portion of the breast (even if no distinct lump is felt).
  • Irritation or dimpling of the skin (sometimes resembling an orange peel).
  • Breast or nipple discomfort.
  • Retraction of the nipple (turning or being pulled inwards).
  • Nipple or breast skin redness, scaliness, or thickening.
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk).

Benefits of Mammogram/Mammography-

Mammogram screening singapore have very few side effects. The level of discomfort experienced during the procedure varies from person to person (as stated above) and is also affected by factors such as the timing of the examination in relation to your menstrual cycle and the technologist’s skill. Breast compression should not and does not result in bruising, and most women do not experience any lingering pain.

If you’re worried about the safety of x-ray exposure, you should know that modern mammography machines use low doses of radiation. According to the American Cancer Society, a screening mammogram exposes a woman to the same amount of radiation that she would be exposed to in her natural environment over 7 weeks.

According to local health officials, the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks of radiation. Most importantly, the mammogram allows your doctor to detect early-stage breast cancer before you experience any symptoms. It enables your doctor to detect changes in your breast, such as small white spots (calcifications), lumps or tumours (masses), and other suspicious areas (densities) that may indicate cancer. The mammogram can also assist your doctor in determining whether additional testing is required.

Doctors in Singapore are concerned that there are still cases of breast cancer that are only discovered at an advanced stage. More women should be aware of the advantages of routine screening. When breast cancer is detected early, treatment is less invasive and expensive. Furthermore, the chances of complete recovery and return to a normal lifestyle are higher.

Noticing the Symptoms-

The best way to detect anything unusual in your breasts is to become acquainted with them right away. Yearly breast imaging and monthly self check are an excellent tool for determining what is normal for your breasts and when there may be changes to be alerted to.

The following are some DIY checks which will make you aware of any common symptom usually found in nascent breast cancer-

Having a Look at Your Breasts-

Place your hands on your hips and look for changes in breast shape and skin surface, as well as any nipple abnormalities, while standing in front of a mirror. Raise your arms above your head and examine the underside of your breast for changes (especially dimples).

Breast Touching-

Massage each breast in a circular motion with your middle three fingers, beginning at the outer edge near your armpit and ending at the nipple. Squeeze your nipple lightly to check for discharge.

Breast Touching (Overall)-

It is being said to make you aware that the armpit area is also part of your breast tissue, perform a final check by feeling your entire chest area from underarm to cleavage for lumps.

Verdict-

It is obvious by now that the demon of breast cancer is lurking here and there and the best we can do is identify it on time without it spreading.
As studies and the data available have shown that breast cancer patients have increased dramatically over the past few decades which indicates that there is more that needs to be done to get the menace under control and this is exactly what we have tried to do here today.
The above content is a comprehensive yet brief detail regarding breast cancer.
We are hopeful that the above information will guide you better.
Thank you for reading. 🙂

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