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Screening rate for Breast Cancer

5th Oct 2020

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Tan Wu Meng
MP for Jurong GRC

Question No. 111

To ask the Minister for Health over the past three years (a) what has been (i) the screening rate for breast cancer and (ii) the rate of late-stage breast cancer diagnosis; and (b) how do these rates compare across (i) housing types and (ii) household income deciles.


1            The screening rate for breast cancer is 38.7% in 2019, up from 30.9% in 2017. This improvement is seen for all socio-economic groups when we take educational levels as a proxy (as household income will vary across time). However, while the breast cancer screening rate is around 50% for women with tertiary level of education, it is 28% for women with primary level of education. The rate of late stage breast cancer diagnosis at Stages III and IV amongst Singapore women has remained relatively consistent at 28.6% between the five-year interval of 2009-2013 and 26.9% between 2014–2018.

2            We will continue to encourage women to go for regular screening. Misconceptions and fears are common barriers – some examples include thinking that screening isn’t necessary when one feels healthy, that ‘it’s better not to know’, and that mammograms are painful. To counter these misconceptions, HPB and its partners will continue to conduct annual breast cancer awareness campaigns and on-the-ground activities, as well as reach out to women via social media.

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