• In 2019, despite the high awareness level of mammography screening for breast cancer, only 38.7% in the 50 to 69 age group reported that they had gone for a mammography within the last 2 years.¹
  • The theme for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month encourages women and the community to support each other for breast health through buddying up to attend mammogram screening together.
  • Join the Pink Plank Challenge to raise awareness that regular exercise reduces one’s risk of breast cancer.

Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Themed “Buddy Up To Beat Breast Cancer”, the national Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) 2021 Campaign led by Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) aims to encourage women to go for mammogram screening and raise breast cancer awareness with the support of their family and peers by opening up conversations that may help to overcome their fear, anxiety and uncertainty. With the support from within their circle, the committee hopes that everyone will take the first step towards beating breast cancer.

In Singapore, breast cancer remains leading cancer among women. It is also the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Regular screening can detect breast cancer early and timely intervention can save lives.

The 2019 National Health Population Survey showed that 9 in 10 (94.4%) Singapore female residents aged 50 to 69 years were aware of mammography. Despite the high awareness level, only 38.7% in this age group reported that they had gone for a mammography within the last 2 years.1 The top 3 reasons cited by women in the 50 to 69 age group who had never undergone mammography were:

  1. “Not necessary as I am healthy” (37.0%);
  2. “Painful test” (18.3%); and
  3. “Afraid of knowing the results” (12.3%)




The evolving COVID-19 situation and the various response measures to the pandemic, including the temporary suspension of screening activities in healthcare facilities and the implementation of other safe management measures, impacted health screening behaviours in 2020, highlighting that the importance of health screening remains a priority. Each year, over 2,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer² and women must continue to go for regular breast cancer screening even when they feel healthy, as they continue to take the necessary COVID-19 related precautions. When breast cancer is detected at an early stage, treatment is easier, and patients have a higher chance of a full recovery.

Clinical Associate Professor Veronique Tan, Chairperson of Singapore Cancer Society Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Committee, and Head and Senior Consultant of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Breast Centre and Department of Breast Surgery, Division of Surgery and Surgical Oncology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) said, “Based on the Singapore Cancer Registry 50th Anniversary Monograph, it is estimated that 1 in 13 women in Singapore will develop breast cancer before the age of 75. Women above the age of 50 years old are strongly encouraged to go for regular mammogram screening to check for abnormalities even when they feel perfectly well and healthy. Having a mammogram is a simple process and the slight discomfort is worth it if a cancer is detected at an early stage. I urge everyone to be an advocate and give your loved ones a nudge if you know that they have yet to go for their mammogram screening.”

In 2020, SCS supported more than 16,000 women with their mammogram screening by providing a $25 funding assistance to each eligible participant. Women between 50 to 69 years of age can continue to enjoy funding assistance again this year if they book an appointment with participating screening centres island-wide during the month of October and November.

“It is important for women to make healthier choices in their lifestyle and go for regular screening so as to detect breast cancer early to improve treatment outcome. SCS’ strategy of cancer education and increasing cancer screening uptakes play a critical role. Amidst the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, SCS continues to reach out to the community using new tools and platforms to ensure that education on cancer and screening remains accessible to everyone,” said Mr Albert Ching, Chief Executive Officer, SCS




BCAM 2021 Calendar of Events

Breast Cancer Awareness Webinar

16 October 2021, English Session: 10.30am to 12pm, Mandarin Session: 2.30pm to 4pm

Learn from our experts about the signs, symptoms and treatment options for breast cancer and what you do to detect it early.

Find out more here.

breast cancer awareness month

Events & Activities on Breast Cancer

Pink Plank Challenge – Whole month of October
Organisers
: Singapore Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Foundation, Health Promotion Board, National Cancer Centre Singapore, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore and Tan Tock Seng Hospital

During the month of October, the public can participate in the Pink Plank Challenge by recording a video of themselves completing a 20-second plank with a friend or family member and posting the video on Facebook. This movement aims to raise awareness on breast cancer, and that exercise can help reduce breast cancer risk. More details about the Pink Plank Challenge can be found at here or on the organisers’ Facebook pages.

Get Fit In Pink Online Fitness Classes – Every Monday & Wednesday in October
Organiser
: National Cancer Centre Singapore

In line with our theme “Buddy Up to Beat Breast Cancer”, participants can invite their friends to sign up for free virtual fitness classes together and encourage each other to keep up an active lifestyle. Yoga classes will be conducted every Monday and Fight-Do classes every Wednesday.

Yoga In Pink! – A Hatha Yoga Beginner Class on 14, 21 & 28 October
Organiser
: National University Cancer Institute, Singapore

Breast cancer is the number 1 cancer affecting women in Singapore. It is important for you to keep fit and stay healthy through exercise. Buddy up with your BFF and join our Yoga instructor for an hour of fitness! Remember to put on your pink sportswear and assemble your pink sports gear!

BCAM Fundraising Campaign on Giving.sg – Whole month of October
Organisers: Singapore Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Centre Singapore, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore and Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Visit here to learn more about the various causes and fundraising initiatives that raise awareness on breast cancer screening and support Breast Cancer Research.

Public Webinars

  • Busting Breast Cancer – 2 & 9 October, 10am to 11am
    A conversation about your top 12 questions.
  • Fight Cancer! – 9 Oct, 10am to 11am
    Learn about the signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Webinar – 16 Oct, 10.30am – 12pm (English) and 2.30pm to 4pm (Mandarin)
    Learn from our experts about the signs, symptoms and treatment options for breast cancer and what you do to detect it early.
  • Breast Health & You – 16 Oct, 9am to 10.15am (English) and 11am to 12.15pm (Chinese)
  • Life After Breast Cancer – 23 Oct, 10am to 11.15am
    Find out how you could conquer breast cancer and care for yourself after your breast cancer treatment.
  • Conquer Breast Cancer with 3 Simple Steps – 30 Oct, 9am to 12pm
    Mammogram, monthly Breast Self-Examination and good lifestyle habits.

Visit here for more information and to register for any of the events and activities listed above.

Screen for Life

Regular mammogram screening is the best defence against breast cancer, as detecting breast cancer early can lead to increased chances of survival due to better treatment outcomes. The HPB recommends women aged 50 years and above to go for mammogram screening once every two years.

Through HPB’s national screening programme – Screen for Life, women aged 50 years and above can enjoy subsidised mammogram screenings at participating breast screening centres. The screening test will cost $50 (for eligible Singapore Citizens) and $75 (Permanent Residents) after prevailing government subsidies. For more information on Screen for Life, please visit here.

Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) $25 Funding Assistance for Mammogram Screening

In the month of October and November, women who are eligible can receive funding assistance of $25 from SCS for their mammogram screening.

Women who have their mammograms done at HPB’s Screen for Life breast screening centres (polyclinic) will expect to pay $25 (for Singapore Citizens) and $50 (for Permanent Residents), after prevailing government subsidies and SCS’ funding assistance. For mammogram screenings done at participating private breast screening centres, SCS will further defray the screening cost by $25.

To qualify for funding assistance, appointments must be made at participating breast screening centres by 15th November 2021, and mammogram screening must be done by 30th November 2021. Funding assistance eligibility and a full listing of the clinics can be found here. Women aged between 40 and 49 years can screen for breast cancer, but they should talk to their doctor about the benefits and limitations of mammograms screening before doing so, to help them make an informed choice.




National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) Additional Funding Assistance for First Mammogram Screening

In the month of October and November, NCIS will be providing additional funding assistance of $10 on top of prevailing funding assistance/subsidies to women who will be going for their mammograms for the first time under the HPB Screen for Life Programme*.

The NCIS Funding Assistance will be offered at selected National University Polyclinics (NUP). They are:

  1. Clementi Polyclinic
  2. Bukit Batok Polyclinic
  3. Jurong Polyclinic
  4. Pioneer Polyclinic
  5. Chua Chu Kang Polyclinics

Visit here for more information on the eligibility criteria and registration details.

National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) Breast Screening on Mammogram Bus

NCIS’s mammobus screening will be held at Jurong Medical Centre on 30th October and 6th November 2021. Slots are limited. Strictly by appointment only.

For appointment, please call 6773 7888 or email: cancerscreening@nuhs.edu.sg

*Terms and Conditions apply.

¹ National Population Health Survey 2019 Report, Ministry of Health and Health Promotion Board Singapore.
² Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2018
³ Pizot C, Boniol M, Mullie P et al. Physical activity, hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk: A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur J Cancer 2016; 52:138-54.

* * * * *

Like what you see here? Get parenting tips and stories straight to your inbox! Join our mailing list here.

Want to be heard 👂 and seen 👀 by over 100,000 parents in Singapore? We can help! Leave your contact here and we’ll be in touch.