Have you ever examined your breast to avoid breast cancer?
Updated: Feb 20
Studies* show that women over 40 years old are more likely to be affected by breast cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted that breast cancer is the primary cause of death among women. If you want to know how health planning can help you to prevent the most severe diseases, including breast cancer, then you are reading the right article.
Life is full of new discoveries and thrilling opportunities, but it also bears challenges that are truly inevitable, such as health disorders. No one knows what the future holds, so it is better to be prepared and to cover your health before it’s too late; as prior planning can reduce the impact of serious illnesses like breast cancer among women.
Worldwide since 1985, October is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM); raising awareness among women and men. It is a myth that only women can develop breast cancer: one man in a thousand suffers from it as they also have breast tissues, where cancer can grow and develop.
If you notice symptom lumps in the breast, colour change, discharge from the nipple and/or focal pain, speak to your general practitioner or request for a scan at the hospital’s Accident & Emergency department. Many women postpone prevention, afraid of the medical costs such as consultations, mammograms, breast screenings, surgery, and even hospitalization charges. Signing up for the right health insurance policy will encourage them to do frequent tests, scans and screenings to identify any disease at a very early stage, when the odds of remission are still high.
Cost & Subsidies
Breast screening at public polyclinics costs around $100. Singaporeans, with the help of the health promotion board, can get a subsidy of $50 to $75 according to their age.
In private hospitals or clinics, the cost of a mammogram screening ranges from $120 to $250. As part of their medical check-up benefits, expats and Singaporeans with proper health insurance cover are entitled to go to the private hospital without any hassle for their breast screening test.
Breast screening for women with normal breasts
Women between 40 and 49 are advised to get a screening mammogram once every year, while women under 40 can do self-examinations. The latter must speak to their health expert or practitioner if they find any breast lump, skin change, focal pain and/or breast discharge.
For women with a family history of breast cancer, a referral for genetic counselling may be appropriate. Investing in a health insurance policy that covers breast cancer will provide you with the financial benefits to pay the cost of all necessary breast cancer screening tests that are prerequisites for early diagnosis and post-diagnosis.
Breast screening for women with breast implants
The mammogram images for women with implanted breasts are often inaccurate and blurred because implants like saline or silicone can obscure them. You need to ask your doctor to refer you to a clinic where the radiologist knows how to perform and read the mammograms of implanted breasts. You will probably need additional breast scanning to dig out the right information. Breast scanning and cancer care are both costly, but if your health is insured under a comprehensive health insurance plan, then you will feel more secure and your finances will be protected.
Highlights on health insurance related to breast coverage – what is covered and what is not?
· Mammograms: yes, you can choose to include them in your health insurance plan in Singapore.
· Breast invasive treatment: yes, BLACAZ. could get you financially covered if you wanted to correct the asymmetry, reconstruct the breast affected by breast removal, reduce large male breasts or congenital absence.
· Removal of breast implants is generally not covered under the health insurance related to breasts, unless the patient suffers from any kind of complications after breast implantations or if it is medically necessary.
· Breast augmentation: increment of the breast size is not covered by medical insurance.
BLACAZ. Insurance not only stands by you when you are going through the cash crunch, but it also aims to promote awareness on breast cancer. BLACAZ. was a sponsor of the event TEDxESSECAsiaPacific hosting the talk “See what you cannot feel” about breast cancer prevention. In this TEDx talk, the expert breast surgeon Mikael Hartman speaks up about breast cancer and how women's continuous self-breast analysis and their courage to talk to a specialist about their inflamed breast can increase the treatment’s success.
So, women should never hesitate to go for a regular mammogram and health screening, even when they don’t suspect any malfunction of their breast health: early detection can save your life. Whether you are a husband or a confident woman, it is important to protect your loved ones.
BLACAZ. Insurance will help you with the best health insurance policy so that you can focus on finding the most effective preventive benefits and cancer treatments, while taking medical expenses out of the way. Feel free to reach out to our expert health insurance team for any advice.
*Studies from the American Cancer Society & British Journal of Cancer.