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Cancer

Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.

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Related Treatments

Breast Cancer

Signs and symptoms of cancer include:

  • Lumps
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Change in bowel habits

Causes of cancer:

  • Smoking causes 22% of cancer deaths
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol

How to prevent cancer

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not drinking too much alcohol
  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains
  • Vaccination against certain infectious diseases
  • Not eating too much processed and red meat
  • Avoiding too much sunlight exposure

Detection of cancer:

Cancer can be detected via screening tests. It is then typically further investigated by medical imaging and confirmed by biopsy.

Treatment of cancer:

Cancer is often treated with some combination of radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

Pain and symptom management are an important part of care. Palliative care is particularly important in people with advanced disease.

Read this post for more information on cancer and health screening in Singapore.

16 Mar 2018

I remembered when Dr Wong Seng Weng walked out and he called out my name, I was thinking to myself, ” Okay, he looked nice. Dr Wong was holding on to the door for us to his office and then we walked in, got seated down and he was LOOKING AT ME NOT THE PC SCREEN (I am thinking to myself, “He treats me as a human not just a piece of meat”) as he explained to me the option that I have and how the treatments will be carried out.

The treatments that Dr Wong recommended for me was to start with the 1st round of chemotherapy, 12 weekly sessions of the milder treatments then proceed with the harsher chemotherapy that will be done once every 3 weeks. As he explained the processes to me and the side effects that I may experience, I felt more at ease and see more hope in recovery rather than the doom and gloom feeling. 

I tell myself after the consultation that I am in good hands!

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27 Jul 2018
Dr Seah Chee Seng is very skilled in breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients. I am satisfied, and also know of many others who had breast reconstruction done by him who are happy with his work too. He is a very experienced doctor who is reassuring to patients that he knows what he is doing. He is very knowledgeable and cautious in patient care. No fuss and no frills, he delivers.
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5 Feb 2017

Dr Anselm Lee is one of the most competent and positive doctors you could have when your child is diagnosed with cancer. He is very encouraging and gives you so much hope! We know other parents whose children were treated for cancer by Dr Lee and they are doing so much better now under his care. 

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2 Dec 2017

Our son was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer with 40% survival chance after a 9mth-1yr treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy. We sought Dr Chui Chan Hon at Mount Elizabeth, for a second opinion. I am so glad we found Dr Chui, as he was so reassuring and made me feel so much better. He emphasized that we should tell ourselves that the survival rate is 100% because without surgery he is left with 0%. 

Dr Chui is truly an expert surgeon. It was a successful surgery and after a long battle we are in remission now!

 

 

I am glad that my buddy irend had found this surgeon for me. After talking with Dr chui, i feel soo much better after he tell me this word which i will always remember. Once u make the decision to go for the treatmemt, dun think abt the 40% survival rate. Instead u should tell urself the survival rate is 100% cos if never go treatment , the rate is 0%. With Dr Chui expertise, i know my edison will be in great hands. This will be a long surgery but i know in my heart.. it will be a successful one. This surgery will take place after either 4th or 5th chemo and i really cannot wait Dr chui will take out the monster from edison stomach. On 20th oct early morning, my dad had passed away and in the afternoon i need to admit edison to Kkh for port surgery and start his 1st chemo. This 20th oct is a black day and a day i hated it

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8 Nov 2017

Dr Chong is attentive and genuinely interested in helping his patients. His extensive experience is obvious when he explains to his patients the indications for the various options of treatments available.

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ASK DR RADHIKA LAKSHMANAN: BREAST CANCER

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Singaporean women. According a report from the Singapore Cancer Registry, breast cancer constituted 29.4% per cent of all cancers among women between 2008 and 2012. 

Research has uncovered many risk factors associated with breast cancer, helping doctors to provide a fairly good estimate of a woman's risk of breast cancer.

For example, a lady who is aged 40 years and above, with a first degree relative (i.e. sister, mother or maternal grandmother) who has breast cancer is at a high risk of getting breast cancer.

Early detection can save lives. Learn more from Dr Radhika, an experienced breast surgeon as she host a QnA session where she answers questions on breast cancer. 

READ MORE >
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ASK DR STEPHANIE HO: MOLES & SKIN CANCER

Almost everyone has moles, and most of these moles are harmless. However, it's important to recognise changes in a mole, such as in its size, shape, or color. Some of these changes may be a sign of skin cancer. 

Join Dr Stephanie Ho, an experienced dermatologist, as she hosts a QnA session where she answers everything you want to know about moles and skin cancer. 

READ MORE >
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ASK DR JASON LIM: COLONOSCOPY

Every day, 5 people in Singapore are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 2 die of it. Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequently diagonsed cancers among male and females. It is also known as silent killer because it often has little or no symptoms. 

However, it is largely preventable with regular screening, and is curable with early detection. 

Dr Jason answered readers' questions on colonoscopies.

READ MORE >
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THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO COLONOSCOPIES IN SINGAPORE (2018)

The negative stigma surrounding colonoscopies in Singapore is unwarranted. In this comprehensive guide, I hope to clear your doubts on its purpose, and explain the possible benefits a colonoscopy can provide you in your journey towards maintaining good health.

READ MORE >
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THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO HEALTH SCREENING IN SINGAPORE

Which health screening tests do you really need? It's a common scenario in Singapore - your dad or mom receives a letter offering free "basic" health screening services, usually in the form of a tie-up with the company where he or she's working at.

So when my dad asked me last night:

What are the essential tests I should go for?

I had a glance through of what was on offer: 5 pages worth of optional add-ons to the free basic screen, ranging from cancer marker tests, to mind-boggling X-Rays and ultrasound scans. This post explains exactly what tests you need, and which you do not.

READ MORE >
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Hi Samantha Low. Yes, existing moles can turn into melanoma. Changes in size and colour are warning signs that you should get the moles checked as soon as possible. A examination and biopsy should be done. Early detection of skin cancer is crucial because it affects the outcome ...
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Hi Wei Chiang, In general, the cost depends on whether surgery or further treatment with immunotherapy or targeted therapy is needed. Whether a patient seeks treatment in the public or private sector also reflects a difference in cost, with the private sector often charging doub...
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Hi Peng Yuan, Very sorry to hear that your mother has been diagnosed with melanoma. The treatment options should be discussed with you by your dermatologist. The next steps depend on how deep the melanoma is. For shallow melanomas less than 0.8mm thick with no ulceration, surg...
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Hi Wei Chiang, Sorry to hear that your father has been given such bad news. The next steps will depend on how deep the melanoma is. For shallow melanomas, surgical removal with good margins may be adequate. For deeper melanomas, he will require surgical removal of the melanom...
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Hi Shanice, If your dermatologist finds an abnormal mole or growth that appears suspicious, then a simple test known as a biopsy needs to be done. It is a quick test that takes 5-10 minutes and a small skin sample is removed after a quick numbing injection. 1-2 stitches are usua...
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Hi Shan Shan, The most important step everyone can take to minimize their risk of skin cancer would be to take sun protection seriously. Wearing a hat, regular sunscreen, avoiding mid-day sun and never ever going under a sun bed would be a good start. Routinely checking your ...
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Hi Jolin, During your skin check with your dermatologist, you will often be asked some questions and examined to assess your risk for development of skin cancers. This may include: Fair skin that burns easily History of severe sunburns or sunbed use Multiple abnorm...
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Hi Daphne, Yes apart from the most dangerous melanoma, there are 2 other types of skin cancer. Skin cancer can be broadly divided into non-melanoma skin cancer or the more dangerous melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carci...
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Hi Malcolm, A melanoma may develop from a normal mole which then changes over time. A melanoma normally changes in shape, size and colour, sometimes slowly or sometimes very quickly. If a mole becomes very black, bleeds or have irregular borders and different colours within, ...
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Hi Yang Wei, It is excellent that you are taking steps to examine your own skin. This is what I'd always recommend all my patients to do in between their annual skin checks with me. The main abnormalities to look out for can be remembered as the ABCDE of abnormal moles : ...
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Hi there, This is a really good question. Many a times, different kinds of skin problems can present in very similar ways. The best and safest way to get the diagnosis right is to see a doctor as soon as possible to get it assessed physically. You can see a general practition...
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Hi Planner, CA19-9 is a tumour marker for digestive tract related cancers; specifically for cancers of the pancreas and biliary system. Having said that, an elevated tumour marker does not necessary mean the presence of cancer, especially if it is just marginally raised. Since...
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