Regular mammograms ideal for women aged above 47, says expert

National 1 minute, 51 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

WOMEN over the age of 47 should get regular mammograms as it could help detect breast cancer early and save their life, said a breast surgeon at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

In a recent interview with The Brunei Times on the sidelines of a Zumba session in the capital to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr Amalinda Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said women have a higher chance of beating breast cancer if it’s detected early.

“We recommend that women aged 47 and above get a mammogram every two to three years,” she said.

A mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast that doctors use to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Amalinda urged women in their 40s, especially those with a family history of breast cancer, to go to their nearest health clinic and get tested.

According to records from the State Laboratory at RIPAS Hospital, more than 90 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer from 2000 to 2015 were over the age of 40.

Records also showed that more than 50 per cent of the women diagnosed were over the age of 50.

Dr Amalinda said women with breast abnormalities and symptoms of breast cancer can go to health clinics where they will be referred to RIPAS Hospital’s breast clinic for a follow-up examination.

“We advise everyone to go to their health centres for example if they notice any problems with their breast such as a breast lump, nipple discharge, skin changes over the breast, or any changes in the appearance of their nipple. Those are the symptoms that we would want to investigate further,” she said.

Dr Amalinda noted that the number of cancer cases in Brunei has increased.

“The cancer trend is on the rise. We’re picking up a lot of cancer cases now and unfortunately at early ages as well,” she said.

She said RIPAS Hospital through the Ministry of Health will continue to raise awareness on cancer by holding talks at schools and other locations.

The Brunei Times