Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, a newly inverted nipple, or a red or scaly patch of skin.
The diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed by taking a biopsy of the concerning lump. Once the diagnosis is made, further tests are done to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the breast and which treatments are most likely to be effective.
1% of men and 12% of women have been diagnosed with breast cancer. To paint a more positive image, 7 out of 8 women have NOT been diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Cancer grows through cell division, and cannot be felt through touch until the 30th division. By the time you feel a cancerous lump on your breast, the cancer has usually been around for 2-5 years.
There are 4 stages to breast cancer. To gauge which stage of breast cancer an individual is on, doctors use measurements such as:
Rest assured, there is a cure to the most common type of breast cancer: ductal carcinoma in situ.
In those who have been diagnosed with cancer, a number of treatments may be used. For example:
Types of surgery vary from breast-conserving surgery to mastectomy. Breast reconstruction may take place at the time of surgery or at a later date.
In those in whom the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, treatments are mostly aimed at improving quality of life and comfort.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Singaporean women. More than 29% of all cancers diagnosed in women are breast cancers.
Studies have shown that your breast cancer risk is higher if you have a first-degree or multiple relatives with breast cancer.
In hopes of avoiding future disease, a DxD reader with a strong family history of breast cancer wanted to know if she should go for a prophylactic mastectomy even though she has not been diagnosed with breast cancer. She shared that her mother and two of her aunts had the disease.
Breast reconstruction procedures in Singapore were not very popular in the past due to a variety of reasons. However, as the number of women in the country diagnosed with breast cancer rises, many are beginning to opt for the surgery in order to improve their lives after mastectomies.
According to accredited plastic surgeon, Dr Christopher Chui, breast reconstruction is an integral part of breast cancer management. The aim with this surgery is to restore the natural form of patients' breasts after mastectomies.
He wrote a very detailed guide on DxD covering what to expect from breast reconstruction surgery in Singapore. Here are some of the key takeaways.