Welcome!

Welcome to the home of Breast Cancer in Singapore.

At this site, you will find answers to all your questions on breast cancer, its presentation, diagnosis and treatment. You will also find a community of patients, care-givers, medical professionals and breast cancer support groups and societies to provide the support you and your loved ones will need to overcome the challenges ahead. You are also welcomed to share your insights and experience and triumph on these pages as well.

We are a growing site. We aim to give the Singaporean breast cancer patient and their family the most relevant information regarding their care and treatment. For healthcare professionals and breast cancer specialists, we aim to provide a centralized repository of related information as well as regular updates of the most interesting and relevant news from the growing literature on breast cancer management.

Let us know how best to help you by giving us feedback on what you will like to see on this site or what queries you want answered.

This is YOUR site and we are here for you. We look forward to having you here with us.

You may want to have a quick look at some of the latest news on breast cancer research.

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Latest Mammography Screening study adds controversy: is Breast cancer screening in women 40-59 years old more likely too harm than to help?

The latest research on the controversial area of mammography screening for breast cancer is bound to stir up what has always been a heated debate.

This study by researchers from Canada compared the incidence of breast cancer and deaths in 89,839 women aged 40-59 – some of whom received mammographic breast cancer screening, while others did not. After a five-year period, the women’s health was then tracked for the next 20 years. Over this time the study found 3,250 women in the group who had undergone screening and 3,133 in the control group who didn’t receive screening were diagnosed with breast cancer and 500 and 505, respectively, died of the disease. The difference was not statistically significant. The researchers at the University of Toronto concluded that “cumulative mortality from breast cancer was similar” between the two.

Importantly, nearly 1 in 5 diagnosed cancers were thought to be over-diagnosed. This means that although these patients did indeed have cancers, these small cancers would never become dangerous if left alone. Approximately half of all cancers found by mammography — yet undetected through physical examination — fell into this category, the study authors wrote.that is unlikely to result in death in within their natural life  span. The fact that only invasive cancers were included as outcomes belies that fact that nearly 1 in 4 demographically detected cancers are pre-invasive cancers. This suggests that about 1 in five women have undergone necessary invasive surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or the burden of psychological distress and the emotional turmoil attached to a cancer diagnosis.

This is an important study but is unlikely to gain traction from the proponents of mammography screening. Their critics draw attention to the poorer quality mammography (compared to modern digital mammography) used in that study. Furthermore, it was noted that the study results ran counter to many other studies published supporting the role of mammography screening in preventing breast cancer deaths.

This is one of the more “modern” study, including modern treatment such as Tamoxifen, and that might make this research more valuable than previous studies that showed mammograms prevented deaths. Recent advances in breast cancer treatment have eroded some of the benefits of early detection as they are so much more effective now that the lead time gained by mammography has little impact on the outcome.

Despite the problem of over-diagnosis, there is no reliable way to tell if the often small cancers detected through mammography screening is going to take a malignant course or a non-life threatening course. It can be imagined that most women would choose not to find out.

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