We asked some top of the mind questions about breast care to Dr Lim Siew Kuan, Senior Consultant and Breast Surgeon of Solis Breast Care and Surgery Centre . We hope that you will find this discussion important too.
Breast Care – Why is it important?
Question: Why is it important to take special care?
Dr. Lim: It is important to detect any abnormalities early as breast cancers are the most common
cancer among women, both in Singapore and worldwide. 1 in 13 women in Singapore will
get breast cancer in their lifetime. It is also an integral part of women’s health and wellness
to take special care of their breast health.
Question: Is there a specific age group who falls under the “extremely important” to have regular
Dr. Lim: Women after the age of 40 should get their breasts checked as the incidence of breast
cancer increases after that.
Breast Cancer – The Dreaded C word and What can we do to minimize the impact?
Question: Just like any other cancer, is a dreadful word. What are the chances of survival and are there any pre-care and prevention tips?
Dr. Lim: Though it is most frequently diagnosed female cancer, the survival and cure rates are one of the highest amongst the cancers. There is an immense amount of ongoing research, and many recent advances in the field. Generally, more than 80% of breast cancers are curable, and the earlier the diagnosis is made, the higher the cure rates. From the age of 18, women should be breast aware and do regular breast self-examinations on the 7th – 10th day of the menstrual cycle. Women should consider and discuss with their doctor regarding starting mammogram screening from the age of 40. Women above the age of 50 should have mammogram screenings done twice a year.
Question: There’s a huge mental trauma associated with breast cancer. Are there any ‘remedies’
to alleviate this emotional and physical challenge?
Dr. Lim: It is important to have social support from family, friends, and other breast cancer survivors, such
as individuals from Breast Cancer Foundation. Patient and caregivers need to be educated
in terms of knowledge about the disease and follow-up care so that they will become
empowered to fight the cancer.
From the breast surgery perspective, we want to minimise psychological impact and trauma
on the patient by optimizing cosmetic outcomes while removing the tumour. Using
oncoplastic techniques, breast conservation rates are increased, even in cases of larger
tumours. In the event that mastectomy is required, options of full breast reconstruction are
available so that the patients finds it easier to resume her previous active lifestyle.
Breast Cancer Treatment and TCM
Question: We would love to know how the amalgamation of western medicines and TCM
practices like acupuncture help in breast care / breast cancer?
Dr. Lim: In the treatment of breast diseases and breast cancer, Western medicine is certainly still the
standard of care. TCM is a useful complement in many ways. Acupuncture can alleviate
perimenopausal symptoms which may result from breast cancer treatments, eg. Nausea,
insomnia, hot flashes, nigh sweats, as well as chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.
TCM herbs can also be useful in helping patients maintain/regain their health and well-
being. However, it is important to only go to registered practitioners.
Thanks Dr Lim Siew Kuan for the valuable insights. Solis Breast Care and Surgery Centre brings together leading surgeons who have their own specialties within the field of breast surgery. Working hand in hand, they bring you the full spectrum of expertise and experience.
Get in touch with Dr. Lim Siew Kuan
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