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1 in 4 women in Singapore skip follow-up breast cancer tests

This is despite indications of possible abnormalities during scans last year

Published on Apr 22, 2014 9:47 AM
 
A posed photo of a patient going through breast screening on a mammogram machine. One in four women who had free mammograms last year failed to return for follow-up tests, despite their scans indicating possible abnormalities. -- ST FILE PHOTO: HOW HWEE YOUNG

One in four women who had free mammograms last year failed to return for follow-up tests, despite their scans indicating possible abnormalities.

The women had gone for screening under the Breast Cancer Foundation Encouragement for Active Mammograms (Beam15) programme, launched in March last year.

Beam15 targets low-income women aged 50 and above. The initiative - a collaboration with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) - screened about 8,700 women last year. Of this group, 1,200 had screening results which required further assessment. But about 300 never came back.

These numbers are "worrying" because they suggest women do not fully understand the point of screening, said Dr Esther Chuwa, a consultant breast surgeon at Gleneagles Hospital.

 
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