Chances are you have heard about mammogram screening as one of the best approaches to help curb the increasing rate of breast cancer in Singapore.
Even after advocacy of this being the right approach, many people still question whether the mammogram is necessary for Singapore.
Some think it is a waste of money and time, while others support the initiative to have your breast screened often.
In this blog post, we look at the benefits of screen mammograms, which will understand if a mammogram is necessary for Singapore. Let’s start by understanding what a mammogram means.
What is a mammogram?
Mammograms refer to an x-ray image of the breast. A mammogram is being used to screen for breast cancer in women who seem to have no symptoms or signs of the disease. A screening mammogram is a name for this type of mammogram.
Two or more x-ray photos, or images, of each breast, are commonly used in screening mammograms. X-ray pictures can often discover malignancies that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Microcalcifications (small calcium deposits) found on screening mammography can occasionally signal the existence of breast cancer.
Mammography may also be used to check breast cancer after discovering a lump or other symptom or symptom. Diagnostic mammography is the name for this sort of mammogram.
Breast cancer symptoms can include breast soreness, the thickness of the breast skin, nipple discharge in addition to a lump; however, these symptoms could also be evidence of benign illnesses.
Diagnostic mammography can also be used to examine alterations discovered during a screening mammogram or to view breast tissue when obtaining a screening mammogram is problematic due to various factors, such as breast implants.
The benefits of a screening mammogram
There are several benefits of a screening mammogram. But you should note that screening mammograms are met for people with breast cancer symptoms, but every woman needs a mammography test despite having a healthy breast.
Mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, but they can save lives by detecting the disease early. On the other hand, early mammography testing may not reduce a woman’s risk of dying from the disease.
Even while mammography can discover cancerous tumors that aren’t visible, treating a small tumor doesn’t always imply the woman won’t succumb to the disease.
Before it is identified, a fast-growing or aggressive cancer may have spread to other regions of the body. Instead, women with such tumors survive for extended periods since they are aware that they will die from the condition.
Furthermore, early detection of breast cancer may not help a woman suffering from other, more life-threatening health conditions live longer. Other benefits of mammography test include;
When radiologists observe an anomaly (a potential “positive”) on a mammogram, but no cancer is present, false-positive results occur. In instances where the result should be an abnormality, the best approach is for the breast specialist to carry out further tests like ultrasound and 3D mammogram to evaluate if cancer cells are present.
Women who receive false-positive mammography findings may experience worry and other forms of psychological discomfort. Additional testing to rule out cancer can be costly and time demanding, as well as physically uncomfortable.
Younger women, women with dense breasts, women who have had previous breast biopsies, women with a family history of breast cancer, and women who are on estrogen are more likely to get false-positive results (for example, menopausal hormone therapy).
The number of mammogram singapore a woman undergoes increases her chances of getting a false-positive result. In most instances, more than half of women who are checked every year for ten years will get a false-positive result, and many of these women will undergo a biopsy.
Overdiagnosis and overtreatment
A screening mammogram can detect malignancies and cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a noninvasive tumor in which aberrant cells with the potential to become malignant build up in the lining of the breast ducts.
They can also discover DCIS and tiny malignancies that don’t create symptoms or threaten a woman’s life. Overdiagnosis is the term for this problem.
Treatment of malignancies and DCIS instances that are overdiagnosed is unnecessary and leads to “overtreatment.” Because doctors can’t distinguish between malignancies and DCIS instances that need to be treated and those that don’t, they’re all treated.
A negative result in cancer screening suggests there are no abnormalities. When mammograms seem normal despite the presence of breast cancer, this is known as a false-negative result.
Mammograms for screening miss roughly 20% of breast cancers present at the time of the screening. False-negative findings might cause treatment delays and give women a false sense of security.
High breast density is one source of false-negative results. In the breasts, dense tissue (i.e., glandular tissue and connective tissue, together known as fibroglandular tissue) and fatty tissue coexist.
On mammography, fatty tissue appears dark, while fibroglandular tissue appears white. Tumors can be tougher to detect in women with thicker breasts because fibroglandular tissue and tumors have comparable densities.
Because younger women are more likely to have thick breasts, false-negative results are more common than older women. False-negative results are less probable as a woman’s breasts become fattier as she gets older.
Certain breast cancers progress so swiftly that they show up months after a normal (negative) mammography. This is not a case of a false-negative result because the screening’s negative result was correct.
However, a negative outcome can lull you into a false sense of security. Clinical breast exams can detect some malignancies missed by screening mammography (physical exams of the breast done by a healthcare provider.
Breast screening is not a breast prevention measure, nor can it help stop the development of cancer cells. Nevertheless, regular breast screening using mammograms is the best approach to diagnose breast cancer at early-stage. This means treatment may be more successful.
If breast cancer is found early and it is small, the surgeon can usually do breast-conserving surgery. This is when they remove cancer and some surrounding tissue rather than removing the whole breast. The patient will have to undergo radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery. The chances of having breast-conserving surgery are 80% if the diagnosis is made at an early stage.
If you have been wondering if it is necessary for a mammogram in Singapore, the answer is yes. Make a choice today, visit the 3D mammogram centre for a screen, and be sure your breasts are healthy.