October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is an annual campaign to create and increase awareness of the disease. Dr Jendana Chanyaputhipong is a Breast Cancer Surgeon with PanAsia Surgery Group where she will share more about the importance of adopting the right lifestyle and diet to take care of your health and breasts, the treatment for breast cancer and more. Read on to find out more.
Images credit to Dr Jendana Chanyaputhipong, PanAsia Surgery Group
Exclusive Interview with Dr Jendana Chanyaputhipong, Breast Cancer Surgeon, PanAsia Surgery Group
1. October is breast cancer awareness month, what’s your advice to women on adopting the right lifestyle and diet to take care of their health and breasts? Is it possible for a woman to prevent breast cancer?
Dr Jendana: Breast cancer is a significant public health problem worldwide. It is the most common female cancer in Singapore and the no.1 cause of cancer-related death in women. Breast cancer awareness month in October helps to increase attention and support for the awareness of this disease. Lack of awareness on early detection and its impact on health and life of the individual often results in breast cancer being diagnosed in late stages.
Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer. Therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and patient undergoes timely treatment, survival is greatest.
Though prevention of breast cancer is not yet possible in the strictest sense, we know there are modifiable risk factors. Risk factors are things that increase your likelihood of developing breast cancer. Many of these (being female, older age, having genetically mutated genes or family history of cancer) are not within our control, but it is still important for every women to know their risk factor. Making smart and healthy lifestyle choices can lower your risk of getting breast cancer. This includes eating healthy, exercising regularly, keeping your weight in check, and avoiding alcohol.
Most people believe that family history strongly determines whether they will end up with breast cancer. “I don’t have family history of it, hence, I don’t need to go for screening mammogram.” However, only 5-10% of all breast cancer cases are due to genetic mutation. Furthermore, early breast cancer often produces no symptoms or signs. Screening aims to detect disease in an otherwise healthy/normal individual.
Healthy diet also means varying the types of food, fruits and vegetables you eat. Remember to include different colours of fruits and vegetables, choose unrefined/whole grains, choose healthy fats and lean meats and be mindful of the cooking techniques used.
2. Any new development in the treatment of breast cancer today compared to 10 years ago?
Dr Jendana: Breast cancer treatment is often multimodal–the main arms of treatment include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, drugs and other targeted therapy. Outcomes of various treatments are constantly assessed and therapies continue to improve across all modalities. For surgery, we can perform minimal scar mastectomies as well as breast conserving surgeries with high safety and better cosmetic outcome. Non-standard treatment with cryoablation may also be considered in some patients with favourable type of breast cancer, as this freezing technique has shown short-term effectiveness in recent studies. Cryoablation is also an option for patients who are more elderly or unfit for surgery.
3. Can you share some success stories about your patients who have recovered from breast cancer?
Dr Jendana: Too many! Often, it is those detected in early stages that undergo prompt treatment that do well. Regardless of the stages they were diagnosed at, one thing is for sure–Getting it and going through the various treatments (and recovering from them) is a very emotional journey. These women are indeed a very special and brave group of mothers, sisters, relatives, and friends. They live on to encourage others as well, sharing with their loved ones the important message that screening can save lives.
Thank you Dr Jendana Chanyaputhipong for your insightful sharing!
To find out more about Dr Jendana, please visit https://www.panasiasurg.com/staff/dr-jendana/
To find out more about PanAsia Surgery Group, its doctors and treatments available, please visit: https://www.panasiasurg.com/