Breast cancer screening in Singapore: Free and low cost places to get it done
Breast cancer screening in Singapore: Between 2011 and 2015, more women died of breast cancer than any other type of cancer, in Singapore.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While most of us are likely to dismiss breast cancer as something that ‘can’t possibly happen to me’, the grave truth is, between 2011 and 2015, more women died of breast cancer than any other type of cancer, in Singapore.
According to the latest cancer registry report released in May, breast cancer accounts for 1 in 3 cancers in women.
A recent survey conducted by the Breast Cancer Foundation found that more than 50 % of the women surveyed, had limited knowledge of breast cancer. Only 45 % said they did breast self-examinations, as well as went for medical checks.
27 % had never done any checks – at all.
BreastScreen Singapore (BSS) is our national breast cancer screening programme, run by the Health Promotion Board, to increase awareness and early detection of breast cancer.
There are three types of screenings involved: self-examination, clinical examination, and mammography.
It is recommended that women above 20 carry out breast self-examination once a month, a week after menses. Here is what you need to look out for:
- A lump that persists
- A change in the size or shape of one breast
- A dimpling or puckering of the skin (like orange peel)
- A retraction (pulling in) of the nipple
- A discharge (clear or bloody) from the nipple
Apart from breast self examination, it is also recommended that women aged 40 to 49 go for a mammogram once a year, while those aged 50 and above go for it once every two years.
The cost of a mammogram in Singapore is $100. After subsidy by HPB, here are the charges:
- Singapore Citizens: S$ 50
- Singapore PR: S$ 75
- Pioneers (65 and above): S$ 25
For those above 50, mammogram is Medisave-claimable.
- Free mammogram in Singapore: Singaporean women holding the blue or orange Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) card and who are at least 50 years old, can get free breast-cancer screenings at Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) multi-service centre, which is on the sixth floor of the office tower at Junction 8 in Bishan.
Mammogram services are currently offered twice a week at the centre. SCS will pay for the screening fee of $50.
- Subsidised screening centres in Singapore:
You can have your mammography done at above mentioned subsidised rates at the following polyclinics (no need of doctor’s consultation):
National Healthcare Group Diagnostics (NHGD) Polyclinics
Tel : 6275 6443 (6-ASK-NHGD)
Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
Bukit Batok Polyclinic
Toa Payoh Polyclinic
Tel : 6536 6000
Bukit Merah Polyclinic
Pasir Ris Polyclinic
Parkway Health Imaging Services Radiologic Clinic
Tel : 6533 2721
Outram Polyclinic (X-ray centre is at Level 4, HPB building)
A doctor’s referral is not required to make an appointment. For more information on breast health, you can also call BreastScreen Singapore at 1800 333 3030.
You can also get a mammogram done at any of the major hospitals in Singapore. including:
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
- Singapore General Hospital
- National University Hospital
- Alexandra Hospital
- Khoo Teck Puat Hospital,
- The National Cancer Centre Singapore
- Mount Alvernia Hospital
- Thomson Medical Centre
- Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Medical Centre etc.