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Breast cancer treatment reduced

New radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer patients will cut down the current conventional treatment.

 

Doctors using the new machine.

The National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) has introduced a new radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer patients undergoing surgery. NCCS is the first and only centre in Singapore to offer this treatment. With this treatment called the intra-operative radiotherapy, the conventional six-week treatment will be reduced to a single session, which lasts an average of 30 minutes during surgery.

The treatment is suitable for patients with early breast cancer undergoing breast-conserving surgery. Dr Ho Gay Hui, senior consultant at NCCS, said, “The treatment may not be applicable to all patients. But it is particularly good for those whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage. This reinforces the need for women to go for regular screening so that the cancer can be more effectively treated before it gets out of hand.”

The first case using the new treatment was done in June this year. NCCS has since treated six patients successfully using this treatment and it indicated that all of them have tolerated the radiation well with minimal side effects.

Clinical trials will be conducted to expand the use of treatment to a larger group of breast cancer patients in the future. 

 

SIDEBOX: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and there are a number of activities planned

Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign includes a number of activities in late September to early November. With the theme this year of ‘Treasure the Breast Things in Life’, the goal for the campaign is to promote the need for early detection.

1) $25 mammogram subsidy (Singapore Cancer Society)

To enjoy the subsidy, the pink coupon from the SCS must be presented. Each eligible woman is required to make a screening appointment in October and complete her screening before December 31, 2012. For more information on participating clinics or X-ray centres and the collection of pink coupons, visit: www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg.

2) Appeal for donations (Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF))

BCF will be appealing for public donations – $2 for a plain ribbon and $5 for the limited edition of crystal-studded pin in October.

3) Art Science Museum & Helix Bridge Light-up (BCF)

Date: October 5, 2012
Time: 6.45pm
Venue: Marina Bay

BCF partners Estée Lauder to light-up the Art Science Museum and Helix Bridge to a sea of pink. Attendance to event is by invitation only. For more information, call BCF: 6356 4150.

4) Breast Cancer Public Forum (BCAM Organising Committee)

Date: October 13, 2012
English Session: 10am to 1pm
Mandarin Session: 2pm to 5pm
Venue: Concorde Hotel (Ballroom 2)

The forum includes the following topics:

  • Prevention and screening.
  • Treatment and side effects.
  • Psychosocial support.
  • Dietary concerns.
  • Alternative therapy.

Fringe activities include makeover, manicure, hand therapy, massage, threading and photo booth. For the kids, cupcake decoration, art and craft activities will be available!

5) We Love Mosaic (National University Cancer Institute, Singapore)

Date: October 20, 2012
Time: 1pm to 4pm
Venue: Singapore Art Museum (Glass Hall)

Apart from making a mosaic mirror, participants will enjoy a high-tea buffet and free admission into the museum’s exhibitions. Entry fee is $12 for those who register and pay by October 5 or $15. For registration and more info: 6772 2613/sylvia_fong@nuhs.edu.sg

6) Let’s Go Fly Kite! (National Cancer Centre Singapore)

Date: November 3, 2012
Time: 4pm to 7pm
Venue: Marina Barrage

Apart from having a picnic, participants will fly specially designed pink ribbon kites and be enthralled by a stunt kite display led by the Layangman and his friends. They will also be given a T-shirt and snacks when they register for the event. Pre-registration is required at $15 per adult and $10 per child (6 to 12 years old). Registration closes October 12. For more information: www.nccs.com.sg/6225 5655/6436 8013 (during office hours).

 


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