Breast Cancer Can Strike At Any Age

Breast cancer is more common as we age, but about 18% of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer were younger than 45 years old (Singapore Cancer Registry, 2010 to 2014). Typically, mammograms - an x-ray of your breasts - is the primary screening tool to detect breast cancer. However, as a young woman in your 20s, you don’t have to go for yearly mammograms yet. 


Photo Credits: iStock, Pornchai Soda

Instead, from your 20s onwards, it is recommended that you do a monthly self-examination of your breasts at home. Here’s a helpful step-by-step guide on how to check your breasts: 

  1. Face a mirror.
  2. Raise your arms, then lower your arms and place your hands on your hips. 
  3. Turn from side to side and look for changes in your skin, nipples, and breasts’ size and shape. 
  4. Feel your breasts for lumps, starting from the outside, at your armpits. Use small, circular movements. Make sure to feel behind the nipple too. 
  5. Gently squeeze your nipples to check for any bleeding or discharge. 
  6. Finally, lie down and repeat steps 4 and 5.

Source: Health Hub, Ministry of Health 

Although breast cancer can strike at any age, it is still relatively uncommon. Some women who are at increased risk include those who have a family history of breast cancer or have received radiation treatment to the chest. 

For young women, breast cancer is usually diagnosed in its later stages, which is why survival rates tend to be lower. Regular self-examination is important - early detection results in a higher chance of beating the disease! 


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