Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer: What is it

Breast cancer occurs when breast cells become abnormal and divide without control or order. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. Breast cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the underarms and other parts of the body such as the bones, lungs and liver.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in Singapore today. 1 out of every 17 women in Singapore is likely to be afflicted by breast cancer, with more than 1,400 new cases diagnosed annually.

Risk Factors of Breast Cancer

  1. Having one or more close relative(s) with breast cancer e.g. mother, sister, aunt or grandmother
  2. Personal history of breast cancer
  3. Previous breast biopsy showing atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in-situ
  4. Early menstruation, i.e. before the age of 12
  5. Late menopause, i.e. after the age of 55 years
  6. Having the first child after the age of 30
  7. Women on long-term use of combined hormone replacement therapy
  8. Regular consumption of alcohol

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  1. A lump or thickening in the breast
  2. A change in the size or shape of the breast
  3. A change in the colour or feel of the skin of the breast, areola or nipple
  4. Blood-stained discharge from the nipple
  5. Persistent rash on the nipple and/or areola
  6. A recently retracted or inverted nipple

These symptoms may be caused by a number of problems and may not indicate the presence of cancer, but if any of these symptoms persists or is bothering you, do consult your doctor for advice.

Screening of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer screening is available at:

  • National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • SingHealth Polyclinics

Specialist Services

Specialist services are available at the following institutions:

  • National Cancer Centre Singapore
    Tel: 6436 8088

  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
    Tel: 6294 4050

  • Singapore General Hospital
    Tel: 6321 4377

Treatment for Breast Cancer

Treatment options for breast cancer include surgery, ranging from a lumpectomy to mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and/or hormone therapy.