I would like to make a few suggestions to handle this problem...but will need to find the time to gather my thoughts and pen it down...
Number of breast cancer cases increasing rapidly in Singapore
SINGAPORE: Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) said the incidence of breast cancer among Singapore women in their 50s is fast increasing, driven strongly by a low fertility rate.
But the good news is, survival rates are also on the rise.
Professor Chia Kee Seng, director of Centre for Molecular Epidemiology, NUS, said: "Chinese have the highest breast cancer rates, followed by Malays and Indians. But the pattern of breast cancer according to age is quite different.
"For the Chinese and Malay, post-menopausal rates essentially plateau off... whereas for the Indian population, the age-specific rates continue to increase over the entire age group."
Many factors are associated with breast cancer, including changes in lifestyle and a rapidly declining fertility rate.
Professor Per Hall, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, said: "Singapore women have adopted more Western lifestyles – they are having fewer and fewer kids.
"They have their first child later in life, which means they have an increased risk of breast cancer because there are few factors that protect women from breast cancer the same way as having many children and the first child very early in life."
Even though survival rates have seen steady improvement, more needs to be done as only half of all cases are detected early.
"The important message that we want to get across is that women who are 50 and above, especially those who have started their family late and have a small number of children should go for mammographic screening," said Prof Chia.
Prevention is just as important as early detection, as shown by a recent study on Chinese women in Singapore, which showed that eating more soy-based food products may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
The risk reduction is also more significant in post-menopausal women with higher body mass index.
Associate Professor Koh Won Puay, Occupational & Family Medicine, NUS, said: "More of the women without cancer were eating soy products, compared to those with breast cancer. We've also found that women who had most protection were women who had been eating soy foods since adolescent days."
Going forward, researchers said they would focus on better methods for early breast cancer diagnosis and encourage more women to go for screening.