Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Singaporean women.
Early breast cancer usually does not have any symptoms. This is why regular breast screening is important.
Mammogram and Breast Ultrasound are 2 of the most common forms of breast scans performed to check for breast cancer.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast tissue.
This is used as a screening tool to detect early changes in the breast that may signal breast cancer.
How is the mammogram performed?
A special X-ray machine is used to perform a mammogram. The radiologist will position your breast on a horizontal breast plate. A second plate, positioned above, will be used to gently flatten the breast, and an X-ray image is taken.
This process is repeated in side view, and then on the other breast.
How should I prepare for the mammogram?
There are no specific preparatory steps required for a mammogram. However, it is advisable to avoid scheduling the mammogram the week before, or the week of your period, as your breasts may be more swollen or tender during those parts of your menstrual cycle.
As the mammogram requires your torso to be partially exposed, it may be useful to wear a blouse and a bottom, as opposed to a dress.
Is the mammogram painful?
Most women will experience some discomfort with a mammogram.
Some only experience mild pressure, whilst others describe it to be painful.
Thankfully, a mammogram only lasts a few seconds, so the discomfort is very short lived.
How much discomfort you experience may be related to the timing of your mammogram, the size of your breasts and the density of your breasts.
What alternatives are there to mammograms?
Your doctor may advise you to go for an ultrasound of your breasts. This may be done as a primary investigation in younger women, with denser breast tissue, or as a follow up to a mammogram.
An ultrasound of your breast is different from a mammogram in that it uses ultrasound waves instead of X- Rays to image the breast tissue.
How is an ultrasound done?
You will be asked to remove your top and bra, and lie on an examination couch.
The radiographer will apply some gel to the skin of your breasts, before positioning a small handheld probe over the breast tissue.
This probe will be used to scan the breast for any abnormal growths.
The ultrasound is painless, and takes only 30 mins to perform.
How do I go about getting my breasts checked?
As part of the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are offering special rates on our breast screening packages!
Our breast screening packages include a detailed female health consultation and breast examination, breast imaging, and a follow up consult for review of your results.
Depending on your age and medical history, the doctor will decide which breast imaging modality is most suitable for you.
Breast Screening Packages:
Remember, nearly 2000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer a each year in Singapore.That’s 166 women a month, 5 women a day, 1 woman every 5 hours.It takes less than 5 minutes to perform a breast examination.
Dr Tan and Partners @Bencoolen
(Women’s Health and Ferilty Centre)
180 Bencoolen Street,
#02-20, The Bencoolen
Telephone: +65 6884 4119
Monday – Friday
9.00am – 5.00pm
9.00 am – 1.00 pm
Selected Public Holiday – Closed