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Breast Care

Dr. Derek Koh

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Dr. Derek Koh

Head, Health Screening at Thomson Wellth Clinic

MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (Singapore)

Dr. Derek Koh practises preventive medicine through tailored health screenings & wellness programmes including the management of Andropause, Menopause and Obesity. He is also Board Certified in Anti-Ageing; has attained his Fellowship with the American Board of Anti-Ageing.

Table of Contents

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women in Singapore today. All woman are at risk and the chances of developing it increases with age. Statistics show that the incidence of Breast Cancer today is 1 in 8. The good news is, breast cancer can be treated effectively, if it is detected early. What are the risk factors?

  • You are over the age of 50
  • Have a close relative who has breast cancer (mother, sister or daughter)
  • A history of ovarian cancers
  • Early onset of menstruation
  • Late menopause
  • Having first child after 30 having fewer children or never having children
  • Being on hormonal replacement therapy
  • Weight gain, especially after menopause

However, 4 in 5 woman diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors.

Breast Cancer Screening – The Best Defence Against Breast Cancer

Early detection is your best defense. It offers a better chance of successful treatment and recovery. Most women with early stages of breast cancer do not show any signs or symptoms. Breast self-examinations (BSE) is an examination of one’s own breasts. It should be done monthly from age 20 and one week after the end of your menstruation when your breasts are less tender and lumpy. If you have no more menses, choose a day that you will remember each month. Some signs are a painless lump, persistent rash around the nipples, bleeding or unusual discharge from the nipple, swollen, thickened or dimpled skin on the breast or a retracted nipple (which was not retracted before). If you have any of the symptoms, please see your doctor immediately. You are encouraged to consult the doctor for breast screening yearly (for women aged 40-49 years) and once every 2 years (for women aged 50 and above).

How to Perform a Breast Self Examination (BSE)?

Do the following steps while standing in front of the mirror:

1. Raise your arms

2. Lower your arms and press firmly against your hips

3. Turn slowly from side to side and look for changes in your breasts

  • Size or shape of breasts
  • Nipples
  • Appearance of skin

4. Use small circular movements to feel your armpits for lumps.

Starting from the outside, feel around the breasts in circles. Feel behind the nipple

5. Gently squeeze the nipple to check for any bleeding or discharge

6. Lie down and repeat steps 4 and 5

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A urine sample is collected to examine substances such as glucose, protein, and red or white blood cells to provide information about kidney function & other urinary tract-related medical conditions. A stool analysis, on the other hand, checks for blood to provide information about digestive health including potential gastrointestinal bleeding.

Body Analysis Index (BIA)

A technique used to measure various parameters related to body composition, such as body fat percentage & lean body mass. It is non-invasive and involves passing a small electrical current through the body and measuring the resistance of different tissues to the current.