This post is brought to you by Tropicana Medical Centre.
Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer amongst women, with an estimated 1.38 million new cancer cases diagnosed in 2008. The frequency rate is much higher in western countries than in their Asian counterparts. However, the trend is rising more rapidly in Asia, possibly due to changes in lifestyle and diet among women in the region.
As in any cancer, early detection can save many precious lives. Breast cancer is no different. There are a few methods that are used to detect breast cancer in the early stages, including mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast MRI (in a few special circumstances).
Annual mammograms can detect cancer early – when it is most treatable. In fact, mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
There are two types of mammogram:
1. Screening mammogram – done for women who do not have any symptoms on their breast
2. Diagnostic mammogram – for women with breast cancer symptoms (pain, lump, skin changes, nipple discharge, etc.)
WHY WOMEN IN THEIR 40s NEED TO HAVE A SCREENING
- One in six breast cancer cases occur in women aged between 40-49.
- Three-quarters of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease or are not considered to be part of the ‘high risk’ population.
- Screening mammography has reduced breast cancer related mortality in the United States by nearly a third.
WORKING WITH YOUR DOCTOR
If you are concerned about screening mammograms, discuss your concerns with your doctor. Together you can both decide the best plan of action, based on your individual breast cancer risk.
Speak to your doctor about:
- Your personal risk of breast cancer
- The benefits, risk and limitations of screening mammograms
- The role of breast self-exams in helping you become more familiar with your breast, which may help you identify abnormalities or changes.
To find out more information on the subsidised digital mammogram & ultrasound breast in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), please log on to www.tropicanamedicalcentre.com
BY DR. ZAMZURI ZAKARIA
CONSULTANT GENERAL AND BREAST
& ENDOCRINE SURGEON
M.D (UKM) M.S GENERAL SURGERY
(UKM), FELLOW IN BREAST SURGERY
(AUS), FELLOW IN BREAST &
ENDOCRINE SURGERY (MAL)
TROPICANA MEDICAL CENTRE
Source: The Expat September 2013
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