Women’s Cancer Series – Breast Cancer  


Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women in Singapore!

Approximately 1 in 10 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and nearly 2000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Singapore.

Women’s Cancer Series – Breast Cancer

Women’s Cancer Series – Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

There are many risk factors associated with breast cancer – these include:


1. Age

The older you are, the higher your risk of breast cancer. Most breast cancers affect women above 40 years of age.

However, breast cancers can occur in women as young as in their 20s.


2. Family History

A positive history of breast cancer in the family doubles your chances of having breast cancer, and should prompt earlier screening than the average population.

5-10% of breast cancers are also associated with inherited mutations in specific cancer genes, namely BRCA-1 and BRCA-2.

The presence of the BRCA mutation increases your chances of breast cancer by 4-5 times the normal population.

It also increase your risk of having other cancers, like ovarian cancer.


3. Diet and Lifestyle

A diet high in animal and saturated fats, and low in fibre can increase your chances of having breast cancer.

Smoking and alcohol intake can also contribute to your risk.

Physical exercise, and maintenance of a normal body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) help to regulate your body’s estrogen levels, thereby reducing your risk of breast cancer.


4. Reproductive History

Women who have never had children, or have their first child after the age of 35 years of age have an increased risk of breast cancer.


5. Menstrual History

If your menarche (onset of mensus) occurred before age 11, or if your menopause (cessation of mensus) occurred after age 55, your body has longer exposure to reproductive hormones, and thus increases your risk of breast cancer.


6. Medications

Prolonged use of estrogen and progesterone can increase your risk of breast cancer. These hormones are found in medications such as the oral contraceptive pill/birth control pills, and in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).


Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer most commonly presents as a breast lump.

Other common symptoms that women notice include:
  • Changes to the skin of the breast
  • Breast tenderness/pain
  • Nipple discharge
  • Retraction of the nipple
It is important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous. The majority of breast lumps are actually benign growths.
However, if you do detect a lump in your breast, a proper evaluation by a medical doctor is necessary to ensure the lump is not cancerous in nature.


Breast Cancer Screening

To protect yourself against breast cancer, regular screening is essential.

Women above the age of 50 should have a mammogram once every 2 years.

Women from the age of 40 -50 may choose to have a mammogram +/- a breast ultrasound on a yearly basis.


If you have a positive family history of breast cancer, speak to your doctor about the appropriate age to initiate early screening.

To find out more about how mammograms and ultrasounds are performed, click here.

Perform a regular Breast Self Examination. Click on the link to find out how to do it.

Need a Female Doctors?

Our Clinics:

1.) Dr Tan and Partners @Bencoolen

Main Doctor: Dr Benjamin Loh

180 Bencoolen Street,
#02-20, The Bencoolen
Singapore 189646

Telephone:  +65 6884 4119

Operating Hours:
Monday – Friday
9.00am – 5.00pm

9.00 am – 1.00 pm

Selected Public Holiday – Closed


2.) Dr Tan and Partners@ Robertson

Main Doctors: Dr Deepa and Dr Jonathan Ti

(Anonymous HIV Testing is available daily too)

11 Unity Street,
#02-06/07, Robertson Walk
Singapore 237995

Telephone:  +65 6238 7810

Operating Hours:
Monday – Friday
8.00am – 9.00pm

Saturday and Sunday
9.00 am – 2.00 pm

Public Holiday – Closed


3.) Dr Tan and Partners @Scotts

Main Doctors: Dr. Elaine Loh

9 Scotts Road,
#06-06 Scotts Medical Centre,
Singapore 228210

Telephone:  +65 6694 2348

Operating Hours:
Monday – Friday
9.00am – 5.00pm

8.00 am – 1.00 pm

Sunday & Public Holiday – Closed


Click to read about these related topics:

Women’s Cancer Series – Cervical Cancer

Women’s Cancer Series – Uterine Cancer (Womb Cancer)

Women’s Cancer Series – Ovarian Cancer



Hey Gal friends! Our lady doctors have launched a health forum specially for women only!

If you have health tips or you need health advices, join us.

For Women. From Women

Click to read about these related topics:

Women Cancer Series: Breast Cancer – here

Women Cancer Series: Cervical Cancer – here

Women Cancer Series: Womb/Uterine Cancer – here




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