mammogram 1

 

 

Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer among women in Singapore. Each year, over 2,000* women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and over 400 die from the disease. 1 in 13* women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.* Nevertheless, the chances of surviving breast cancer increases with early detection.

The mammogram is currently the most reliable screening tool for breast cancer. It can detect the presence of cancerous lumps even before they can be felt with the hand.

To encourage women in Singapore to start screening and stay up to date with their screening, Singapore Cancer Society runs a number of mammogram screening programmes.Click on programme or service buttons to find out more.

 

  Age Range
  40- 49 years old 50 years old and above

Women

With

CHAS card

 mAMMOGRAM FUNDING ASSISTANCE

COMMUNITY MAMMOBUS PROGRAMME

SCS CLINIC @ BISHAN

Women

Without

CHAS card

FIT50 PROGRAMME

MAMMOGRAM FUNDING ASSISTANCE

COMMUNITY MAMMOBUS PROGRAMME

 

Besides Mammogram Screening, we encourage you to also do Monthly Breast Self-Examination

Note: In view of overwhelming response and mandatory requirements to observe Covid-19 Safe Management Measures, your appointment will be subjected to slot availability.

 

*Source: Singapore Cancer Registry 50th Anniversary Monograph (1968 – 2017)

About Mammogram

When should i start doing a mammogram

From age 50 and above, Go for your mammogram screening once evey two years unless your doctor advises otherwise. 

From age 40 to 49, Go for your mammogram screening once every year. As breast tissues of younger women tend to be denser, abnormalities may not be visible on the mammogram.Thus, consult your doctor about the benefits and limitations of going for a mammogram at this age. If you decide to go for a mammogram, it should be done once a year.

For those below the age of 40, mammogram screening is not recommended. 

I have no symptoms, should I still attend mammogram screening?

According to the Singapore Cancer Registry, 1 in every 13 women in Singapore may develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Given that there’s still a risk of developing breast cancer, it’s still important to be vigilant even if you feel fine. Early breast cancer may not have symptoms. Breast cancer screening using mammography is the best way of detecting cancer when it is so small and you cannot feel it. When detected at the early or pre-cancerous stage, breast cancer may be treated with simpler treatment and prevented from progressing to invasive cancer

Are mammograms painful?

A certain amount of compression of the breast is required to obtain a clear image on the mammogram. You may expect some discomfort or pain. The compression is similar to feeding of getting your blood pressure taken. Should you experience pain, please inform the radiographer immediately.

For less discomfort, you may consider scheduling your mammogram 7 to 10 days after the start of your period; where your breast are least tender. You may consider taking one or two painkillers (e.g. Paracetamol) right befor the procedure. 

Are mammograms harmful?

A common perception is that mammograms are harmful to the body and may increase existing risk of cancer as they expose women to radiation during the screening process. However, in actuality, radiation exposure during mammograms is very low. Correspondingly, the health risk to women is also very low.

Is there any proof that mammograms work?

Yes. Studies show that regular breast screening in women aged 40 years and above can reduce the mortality rate from breast cancer by up to 50%. This translates into lives saved.

Are mammograms effective for all women?

Studies have shown that breast screening is most effective in women between the ages of 50 and 70. The effectiveness of breast screening for women in their seventies is not as apparent.

Where can I go for a mammogram?

Mammogram facilities are available in numerous breast screening centres island-wide. The Ministry of Health launched a nationwide campaign to screen women above the age of 50 for breast cancer. Under this campaign, the cost of mammograms is heavily subsidised. Mammograms are available as part of a general health check in most restructured hospitals and specialist outpatient clinics. Mammograms are also provided at the SCS Clinic @ Bishan.

What happens if a woman’s mammogram is abnormal?

An abnormal result from a mammogram does not automatically mean that a woman has breast cancer. A large proportion of abnormalities are caused by other factors. Women whose mammogram results indicate abnormalities will be directed to take follow-up tests such as a repeat mammogram and/or an ultrasound scan. For women whose abnormal results remain suspicious, they will be directed to undergo a surgical biopsy to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of cancer.

What is a surgical biopsy?

This is a small surgical procedure to remove the abnormality in the breast for laboratory analysis. This procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia as a day surgery.

What are the disadvantages of a mammogram?

Some women may experience pain resulting from the mammogram process. There is also a small health risk from radiation exposure.

At this time, no diagnostic test is 100 per cent accurate. It may be possible for healthy women to obtain a false abnormal result and for unhealthy women to obtain a false normal result. To mitigate this possibility, it is important for women to exercise vigilance by also performing monthly breast self-examinations.

COVID-19 Vaccines  and Mammogram

Some people may experience enlarged/swollen lymph nodes after the Covid-19 vaccination, and this may affect the interpretation of the mammogram results. While not everyone will experience post-vaccine symptoms, women are encouraged to schedule their mammogram appointment before the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination or at least four to six weeks after the final vaccine dose.

Discuss with your doctor if you are need to go for a mammogram soon after you get the vaccine. Your doctor will be able to advise on the situation. We advise patients not to delay mammogram without seeking doctor’s advice.

Click COVID-19 Vaccines and Cancer  to learn more.