Why Singaporean women don’t go for breast cancer screening

Mar 2018 Breast

Contributed by: SMG Women's Health Editorial Team

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A study conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has revealed several findings into the attitudes of Asian women towards breast cancer.

The study found 4 main reasons why Singaporean women were reluctant to seek screening or early treatment for breast cancer:

  • Lack of knowledge about breast cancer occurrence
  • Lack of knowledge on breast cancer symptoms
  • Misconceptions on breast cancer treatments
  • Fear of becoming a burden to families

Breast cancer is the top women’s cancer in Singapore, accounting for more than 25% of all cancers diagnosed in women. From 2010 to 2014, over 1800 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Singapore each year.

Breast cancer survival rates increase with early detection through screenings and treatment. Unfortunately, breast cancer screening programmes and public health strategies have not been as effective in Asia as compared to the West. This has resulted in many Asian women dying from breast cancer due to late diagnosis.

Following the pilot study, researchers from NUS will be looking at higher breast cancer mortality rates among Malay women in Singapore, with the aim of developing strategies to encourage screening uptake and treatment in the Malay population.

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