Having no risk factor does not mean that you will not get breast cancer. Dr Lim Geok Hoon, Senior Consultant for KK Breast Centre at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), explores some of the risk factors.
Continued from previous page.
one out of every 13 women in Singapore is likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 75 years old. That’s about 8 per cent of all women in the city-state," shares
Dr Lim Geok Hoon, Senior Consultant for
KK Breast Centre at
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the
Am I at risk for breast cancer?
As a woman, your risk of developing breast cancer is higher if you:
Are > 50 years old
Have a close relative (mother, sister or daughter) who has breast cancer or if you have a genetic mutation
Have taken hormone replacement therapy for more than 5 years after menopause
Have previous breast biopsies that have shown abnormal results
Had specific types of radiotherapy for lymphoma.
A woman’s breast cancer risk is also increased, though less markedly, if she:
Has never been pregnant or had her first pregnancy after the age of 30
Began to menstruate before the age of 12, or reached menopause after the age of 55
Do bear in mind that breast cancer can affect anyone at any time, even in the absence of high risk factors.
Can breast cancer be prevented?
Although breast cancer cannot be effectively prevented, doing the following will reduce the risk of breast cancer:
Do not smoke
Limit alcohol intake
Adopt a healthy lifestyle and diet
Keep an optimum body weight
If taking hormonal medications, restrict its use to a short duration
Breastfeed your child
When should I go for a mammogram?
To catch breast cancer in its early stages, you shouldn’t wait for symptoms, such as a lump in the breast, to become apparent. Current recommendations include a breast self-examination every month and a mammogram once every two years for women above the age of 50.
Women between the ages of 40 to 50 are advised to have an annual mammogram after consultation with their doctor.
Fast facts about breast cancer
There are more than 1,800 new cases of breast cancer in Singapore every year, most of them at an early stage
About a tenth or less of Singaporean women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history
The survival rate for women with early breast cancer after 5 years ranges from 93 to 100 per cent
See the previous page to learn
when is a preventive mastectomy advised for breast cancer prevention.
Check out other articles on breast cancer:
Breast Cancer Screening: Your Best Protection Against Breast Cancer
Tips to Keep Your Breasts Healthy
What To Do If an Abnormality in the Breast is Detected
Breast Cancer Treatment: What Are Your Options
Breast Cancer Treatment: Patient-Centred Cancer Treatment
Breast Reconstruction: When Should It Be Done
What the Husband Can Do If His Wife Has Breast Cancer