However, health is only important when we — or someone we know — face a problem. The better way to manage one’s health is to remain proactive (preventive) rather than to look for a solution only when a problem has occurred (treatment).
Building breast cancer awareness empowers the public to take charge of their breast health and help decrease deaths related to breast cancer. Understanding of the risk factors of breast cancer, as well as signs and symptoms, means knowing what to look out for when one does breast self-examination. Awareness of screening tools and age-appropriate screening recommendations make people more certain about what to do even when they do not detect any changes. Regular self-checks and screenings are a way to take responsibility for breast health.
There are many reasons why many people remain unaware of breast cancer and its severe implications for individual health and society. It used to be a ‘hidden disease’ — one that women were afraid or embarrassed to talk about. Like victims of abuse, they often suffered in silence. Today, more voices are heard, and real efforts are made to build awareness of breast cancer. Every October, the world unites in ‘pink efforts’ to raise awareness of breast cancer. Various campaigns and events in Singapore support this. I am privileged to take part in raising breast cancer awareness.
Breast Cancer Facts
Breast cancer is a worldwide public health problem. In Singapore, it is the most common form of cancer among females, and the number one cause of cancer death in women. It is estimated that one in 15 women in Singapore will develop breast cancer. Men are also at risk, although the incidence of male breast cancer is lower. With up to 80 per cent of breast cancer occurring in patients without known personal or family history of cancer, early diagnosis and timely treatment are crucial.
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