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Breast Cancer and Mammogram

More than 25% of all cancers diagnosed in women are breast cancers. Between 2010 and 2014, about 1,856 women were diagnosed to have breast cancer in Singapore each year.

The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most women who are diagnosed to have breast cancer are older than 40 years old, but younger women may also be affected.

Risk factors

A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you’ll get breast cancer. But having one or even several breast cancer risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than simply being women.

Risk factors included

  • Increasing age.
  • A personal history of breast cancer.
  • A family history of breast cancer.
  • Inherited genes that increase cancer risk.
  • Radiation exposure.
  • Obesity.
  • Beginning your period at a younger age.
  • Beginning menopause at an older age.
  • Having your first child at an older age.
  • Having never been pregnant.
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy.
  • Alcohol.

Sign and symptoms:

  1. Breast lumps 
  2. Bloody nipple discharge
  3. Skin changes 
  4. Persistent itchy rash of the nipple 
  5. Breast pain 

Screening for breast cancer

  1. All women age 40-49 to consider mammogram yearly after discussing with their doctor.
  2. All women age 50 and above should go for mammogram every 2 years.
  3. For some patient with high risk, screening may need to be consider earlier (before 40).

8 out of 10 breast lumps are benign or non-cancerous. There are different classifications of breast lumps that can occur, depending on a woman’s age. 

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