Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Singaporean women. The good news is that it can be detectable in many cases before it is too late — but only if we are careful to do breast self-examinations and go for mammograms.
Before the pandemic, mammogram screenings were much more accessible and affordable thanks to the Community Mammobus Programme, which provided mammograms at the cost of $0 to $10 for Singaporeans and $25 to $35 for PRs.
Covid-19 has halted the Mammobus for the time being, but mammograms remain fairly affordable.
Subsidised mammograms in Singapore from $25
The Health Promotion Board offers programme offers subsidised mammograms for Singapore citizens and PR women aged 50 and above. The above prices are for Singapore citizens.
That’s not all! Until 31 Dec 2020, the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) is offering funding assistance of $25 to women who are eligible.
The fee is $25 for Singapore citizens and $50 for PRs who get their mammograms done at HPB’s Screen for Life breast screening centres (selected polyclinics), after prevailing government subsidies and SCS’ funding assistance.
If you prefer to go to participating private breast screening centres instead, SCS will defray the screening cost by $25. Check if you’re eligible for the funding here before you make a booking by 30 Nov 2020.
HPB’s Screen for Life: Mammograms from $0 to $5
HPB also runs a special health screening programme called Screen for Life for CHAS, Merdeka and Pioneer card holders. Under this scheme, women from age 50 can get a mammogram for next-to-nothing.
|CHAS Green cardholder||$5|
|CHAS Blue or Orange cardholder||$2|
If you are a CHAS card holder, you can go to a CHAS GP Clinic to arrange for your subsidised mammogram.
Paying for your mammogram with Medisave
By the way, women aged 50 and above can pay for mammograms at Medisave-approved centres using up to $500 per year of Medisave funds (or the Medisave funds of an immediate family member).
So ladies, don’t be lazy. Once you hit the age of 40, schedule an appointment with your doctor, who’ll help you decide when’s the right age to start going for mammograms.
How to do a breast self-examination
Women of all ages should learn how to do a breast self-examination to regularly check for lumps in between mammograms.
I remember being made to watch a video about this at school and everyone laughing and going eww. But now that I actually know several people who have had cancer, it doesn’t seem so funny anymore.
This animated video shows you how to do breast examinations. It’s only 3:47 minutes long and features a cute cartoon mascot. So please, let this be one of the Youtube videos you watch today.
Free activities to join and support breast cancer awareness
Most of us are familiar with the pink ribbon that’s become a symbol of breast cancer awareness. Whether you’d like to educate the people around you about breast cancer, inspire the women in your life to self-examine and screen regularly, or just get your hands on some freebies, here are some activities to participate in.
Get in Pink online exercise classes
As part of BCAM, a series of free online exercise classes will be held in order to help women achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Options include Kpop X Fitness, Masala Bhangra, Cardio Hip-Hop, Flamenco, and Yoga. Click here for the schedule and register online here.
Pink Plank Challenge
Take a video of yourself planking in pink, post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag three friends and the National Cancer Centre Singapore, National University Cancer Institute or Singapore Cancer Society, and stand a chance to win prizes. Who knows, you might be one of 10 winners to score a JBL Clip 3 speaker worth $99. You have until 6pm on 31 Oct 2020, so get planking. More info here.
Wear a pink ribbon mask
Donating at least $20 towards breast cancer research and patient care entitles you to a pair of pink ribbon face masks designed by a breast cancer survivor. Donate here.
5 ways to shop/spend for a cause
The following businesses are supporting breast cancer awareness this month by donating part of their sales proceeds to the cause. Not only does part of your money go to a good cause, but you also get some freebies, as they’re giving away gifts with every eligible purchase this month.
|Superga shoes (in pink only)||Free customisation of shoelaces and lipstick from Origins, Bobbi Brown and more|
|Perk by Kate lingerie||Free Estée Lauder beauty kit worth at least $100|
|Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum in a limited pink edition||Free collectible bracelet|
|Webarre virtual class on Oct 24||Free Estée Lauder beauty kit worth at least $100|
|The Emporium dresses||Free matching face mask|
Check out more details here and many other ways to support breast cancer research and raise awareness of breast cancer this month.
Whether you’re going all out to participate in activities, make purchases at participating businesses and donate directly to the cause or talking to a friend or family member about screening and self-examinations, you most definitely have the power to make a difference.
Know someone who’s eligible for a cheap mammogram? Share the love.