Regular screenings vital

Only two in five women in Singapore aged 50 to 69 have gone for a mammography screening in the past two years, the Health Promotion Board's Health Behaviour Surveillance of Singapore 2015 showed.

A mammography screening is a type of screening for breast cancer.

BreastScreen Singapore, the national screening programme, recommends that women aged 50 and older be screened every two years. In the light of these figures, this year's Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) will focus on encouraging women to go for regular mammography screenings for the early detection and treatment of the illness.

Throughout the month of October, a series of events comprising educational seminars, talks and roadshows will be held to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Dr Elaine Lim, co-chairman of the BCAM 2016 organising committee and a senior consultant at the National Cancer Centre Singapore's division of medical oncology, said: "We want to drive home the message that early detection of breast cancer means early treatment, which leads to early return to usual life and normal survival expectations. Even in the advanced stage, breast cancer is highly treatable."

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women here. Between 2010 and 2014, 9,274 new cases were diagnosed in Singapore, averaging about 1,850 cases and 400 deaths from breast cancer per year.

Rachel Oh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2016, with the headline 'Regular screenings vital'. Print Edition | Subscribe