My aunty passed away many years ago due to breast cancer. We accept it as Qadaq and Qadar... but what is the best lesson we learn from this? yea breast cancer screening is very well important especially to those with a high risk. My mum is in her late 50 and I had reminded her many times to go for mammogram and woman at her age should go for the screening at least every three years. But she's so scared and according to her friends mammogram is very painful procedure. She has her 'family' doctor (Dr Q) for routine check up and the expenses are all covered by health benefit (employer scheme). She used to request for the mammogram and Dr. Q said it is not necessary and advise my mum to do her 'self checking'. Taking the advice from Dr Q, she was very happy and makes that as an excuse not to go for mammogram.
But somehow she experience discomfort on her arm and then she had requested for mammogram. She finally allowed going for mammogram (Dr Q is acting like he’s the one who paying for the expenses…argghhh it’s all the employer money ok). As a result, there is a small lump near her armpit about 1cm. When my mum calls Dr Q for the result, he said the result is ok. Then my sister calls him for confirmation and asking if there is any lump. Then he said there is a lump but he reassured it should be fine. My sis so mad and asked him how sure is he that the lump is ok? My mum went to see him the following day and he asked my mum to wait for another 6 months for futher check up.
My sis contacted Lin for second opinion and I also contacted my friend, a medical lecturer and also talked to my colleague who is currently doing research related to breast cancer. They advised to go for further check up with specialist. If necessary fine needle biopsy might be needed. My sister set appointment with the consultant at NM Medical Centre and at the same time contacted Dr Q for referral to specialist. If Dr Q made the referral, then it would be covered but if he doesn’t want to do so, then we just pay ourselves. My sister really pushed Dr Q with saying there is a lump and we requested for further check up and let the specialist decide. Unless it is all normal then it would be unreasonable to ask for referral. He at last agrees after another drama! Fuhhhhhhhh
My mum went to the consultant and he asked her to do the ultra sound, instead of one there is another one but didn’t appear in the mammogram. The second newly found lump is very small. The consultant said it should be ok and asked my mum to come back in 3 months time for another ultrasound. I hope everything is fine.
Personally I think the Breast Screening should be done to all women 50 and above and also the high risk group (e.g. history of cancer in family).
A report by the Department of Health Advisory Committee published in 1991 suggested that the programme would save 1,250 lives each year by 2010.2
The World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that mammography screening for breast cancer reduces mortality. The IARC working group, comprising 24 experts from 11 countries, evaluated all the available evidence on breast screening and determined that there is a 35 per cent reduction in mortality from breast cancer among screened women aged 50 - 69 years old. This means that out of every 500 women screened, one life will be saved.3
I hope my friends who read this, please bring your mum for mammogram if they already 50 and above or if there is cancer history in the family. It cost less than RM200 in private hospital and this is might be a good gift for the coming Mother's day? Besides that overall medical check up for elderly is also important.