Breast cancer is a common cause of death among women, although men may also develop it. Age, gender, genetics, and certain habits are among its risk factors.
If your family has a history of breast cancer, you have a higher risk of developing it. Smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity can also contribute to the disease.
Making changes to your lifestyle such as maintaining a healthy body weight and quitting smoking may help reduce your risk. Getting a breast screening in Singapore is also extremely beneficial.
Breast cancer screenings mean examining your breasts for signs of or presence of cancer. Your doctor will educate you on the most appropriate screening option for your case. While screenings do not prevent cancer, they help make it easier to treat.
Breast Cancer Screenings in Singapore
Breast cancer screenings involve various tests for people, even if they do not show any symptoms. The x-rays, for example, can detect even a grain-sized cancer, even before you see or feel any changes to your body.
If the cancer is detected earlier on, the treatment would have a higher chance of success. You can get the proper care that you need while the cancer is at its early stages. Even if you do not have a history of cancer in the family, it is still beneficial and highly recommended for you to talk to your doctor about getting screenings.
The whole process does not take much time. It is painless and can be completed within 20 minutes. A radiographer will take two x-rays of each breast. Once it is done, you will receive the results in about 10 days.
Women aged 40 and above should consider a screening once a year, even if they do not see any symptoms. Women aged 20-30 may also benefit from getting screened every 3 years. If you have any of the aforementioned risk factors, on the other hand, your doctor may recommend getting an annual screening instead.
It also helps to conduct a self-check every now and then to closely monitor your body and detect any irregularities, such as lumps.
Here are more benefits of getting a breast cancer screening:
- Reduces the tendencies of requiring chemotherapy. At the early stages of cancer, chemotherapy may not be necessary.
- Helps you understand the health of your breasts. By seeing your doctor regularly, you also learn more about the condition of your breasts and how to keep them healthy and cancer-free. You will also learn how to properly inspect your breasts for any changes.
- Reduces likelihood of death due to breast cancer. By seeking early treatment, you have a higher chance of being cured and preventing fatality.
- Increases the treatment success rate. Cancer treatments work best when the cancer is still in its early stages and has not yet spread to other parts of the body.
- Resuming your normal life. If cancer is successfully treated, you will be able to get back to living your normal life with your loved ones.
Breast screening also has disadvantages such as false-positive results, which means detecting something that resembles cancer but is not. You may end up getting more tests, which can be costly and also cause you anxiety.
You and your doctor need to work together in making decisions that are favorable for your overall health. Be sure to discuss with them any concerns you may have.