BREAST CANCER: EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES, IMPROVES SURVIVAL RATE

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and accounted for 34.1% of all cancer among females in Malaysia. According to the National Cancer Registry 2012-2016 report, about 47.9% of breast cancer cases were detected at late stage (III & IV); this was higher compared to the National Cancer Registry 2007-2011 report (43.2%).

Beacon Hospital’s Breast Care Clinic is based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, providing a full spectrum of breast care services all under one roof. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Malaysian women and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women globally. Datuk Dr. Devanand Mangharam, Beacon Hospital’s Consultant Breast & Endocrine Surgeon and the Founder & Chairman of the Pink Ribbon Wellness (L) Foundation, explained that early detection of breast cancer can have improved outcomes. Women above 40 years’ old should schedule for an annual mammogram screening as the risks increase after that. With the results at hand, the annual conversation with their doctors about their risk is important where together they can develop a screening schedule.

“Long before any physical symptoms appear, mammograms can detect changes in the breast that could be cancer. Early detection is crucial in treating either pre-cancerous or early-stage breast cancers, but screenings are not actively taking place due to the pandemic. This could result in an increase of more advanced diagnosed breast cancers.” said Datuk Dr Devanand. 

Dr. Saladina Jaszle binti Jasmin, Consultant Breast & Endocrine Surgeon at Beacon Hospital, shared a study revealed said that breast cancer screening with 3D mammograms reduces the rate of interval cancers which is discovered between routine screenings. ‘Interval breast cancer’ refers to a cancer discovered between one regular mammogram screening the next mammogram screening scheduled. These cancers are larger and grows rapidly compared to routine mammogram-detected breast cancers.

“Women who do not miss their breast screening appointments are far less likely to die from breast cancer than women who skip one – or all – exams. Missing even one screening examination confers a significant increase in risk,” Dr Saladina shared.  In the interim, discovering changes on your breasts should not be a cause of alarm shared Dr. Saladina. About 9 out of 10 breast lumps are non-cancerous. What you need is to have a dedicated breast care team providing breast care services covering a wide range of conditions from routine breast check-ups to any checking breast-related conditions.

Dr. Tan Gie Hooi, Beacon Hospital’s Consultant Breast & Oncoplastic Surgeon, said that it a natural response to be worried when one discovers symptoms of breast cancer. However, you can access timely investigations and diagnosis as well as appropriate treatments today. “Patients can get rapid access to our triple assessment services where their symptoms are investigated promptly; and when diagnosed, to receive their individually planned treatment. Triple assessment for breast lump includes clinical assessment, breast imaging and biopsy (histopathology) where a sample of the lump is taken for lab testing,” Dr Tan said.

Datuk Dr Devanand added that screening is the best prevention. With early detection, there are more treatment options available. It could lead towards better prognosis and disease control.

“Additionally, an individual can help minimise their risk of developing breast cancer simply by making positive dietary and lifestyle changes. Poor eating habits, poor food choices, and a sedentary lifestyle can all raise a person's risk of developing breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, eating a healthy diet, and staying physically active may all help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer,” said Datuk Dr Devanand.

 A Retrospective Analysis - Breast Cancer Survivorship – Stage 0 – 2 with 100% Survival Rate A retrospective analysis by Beacon Hospital on Breast Cancer Survivorship has concluded the overall 5-year survival rate of breast cancer patients compares favourably to the survival data of developed countries, as well as to other institution with patients from stage 0-2 with 100% survival rate.

In the analysis, it was concluded that the overall 5-year survival rate of breast cancer patients amongst Malaysian women who sought treatment at Beacon Hospital compares favourably to the survival data of North America and Oceania at 84%. Findings from this present study will be useful in assisting advocacy organisations to provide information about resources and support as well as to raise awareness.
Datuk Dr. Devanand Mangharam 
Consultant Breast & Endocrine Surgeon MBBS (India), 
FRCS (Scotland) Specialisation Breast And Endocrine Surgery

Awards and Achievements 
Founder and Chairman of Pink Ribbon Wellness (L) 
Foundation Chairman of the Wear it Pink Campaigns at Pantai Medical Centre (2001 – 2006 and 2008) Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the ‘Life Beyond Breast Cancer – an International Symposium’ (2012)

Memberships and Associations 
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland Fellowship of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia
Dr. Saladina Jaszle binti Jasmin 
Consultant Breast & Endocrine Surgeon MD (UKM), 
MS (GEN SURGERY) (UKM) 
Specialisation Breast and endocrine surgery, breast oncoplastic surgery, thyroid related problems

Postgraduate Training 
Fellowship training in Breast & Endocrine Surgery, Malaysia Clinical fellowship in Breast (Oncoplastic) at the Breast & Trauma Unit-NUHS, Singapore

Memberships and Associations 
Member of the Breast Chapter, College of Surgeons Malaysia Ordinary Member of the College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine Malaysia Member of the Malaysian Oncological Society
Dr. Tan Gie Hooi 
Consultant Breast & Oncoplastic Surgeon MBBS (UM), 
M Surgery (UM), Breast Surgery Fellowship (Malaya)
Specialisation Oncoplastic breast surgery and reconstruction, endoscopic breast surgery, benign breast disease, hereditary breast cancer, male breast diseases.

Awards and Achievements 
BSI Travel Scholar Awards 2015 
SMA Alhady Gold Medallist 2011

Post Graduate Training 
Breast Surgery Fellowship; University of Malaya 
Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Fellowship; Siriraj, Thailand 
Master in General Surgery; University of Malaya, 2011 
Membership of Royal College of Surgeon of Edinburgh, 2005

Memberships and Associations 
Royal College of Surgeon of Edinburgh, UK 
Breast Chapter, Malaysia 
Academy of Medicine, Malaysia
ABOUT BEACON HOSPITAL 
Beacon Hospital is a medium-sized cancer specialist hospital equipped with 100 beds and more than 80 medical specialists. Our primary focus is to provide advanced medical equipment, specialist doctors and professional nursing care to our patients with love and empathy. Our success in establishing and managing our first Cancer Excellence Centre has inspired us to develop seven other specialty centres, namely the Brain & Spine, Bone & Joint, Eye, Men’s Health & Urology, Women’s Health, Health Screening & Wellness and Clinical Research centres. These specialty centres are anchored by multidisciplinary medical specialists who have more than 20 years of individual experience, with many recognized as thought leaders in their own right, both nationally and internationally.

As part of our mission and values of giving back to the community, the management team of Beacon Hospital initiated the Beacon’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives with the aim to reach out to needy patients. Generally, the objectives of Beacon CSR programme are: 

  • Create public awareness on cancer and other diseases 
  • Emphasize the importance of early detection and encourage patients to seek necessary treatments earlier 
  • Reach out to the patients who need financial aid for treatment 
  • To date, this programme has already channelled more than RM 33 million in financial aid to help ease the burden faced by many underprivileged patients.

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