Don’t do a breast self-examination to check for lumps regularly? You’re not alone. A survey commissioned by Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) in 2017 found that while nine out of 10 Singaporeans consider breast cancer to be dangerous and regular breast checks, important, only 62 percent of women reported having ever done a self-examination.
But you absolutely need to start—breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Singapore. In fact, according to the Singapore Cancer Registry, six women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day. And no, it’s not something you should only worry about when you’re older; women as young as 20 years old and have been diagnosed with the disease.
Plus, there’s really no excuse not to: unlike, say, a pap smear, which detects cervical cancer, a breast self-check or lumps provides a basic level of inspection at absolutely zero cost. It also doesn’t take more than five minutes.
Want to not only start doing breast checks for the good of your well-being, but inspire other women to do the same? Breast Cancer Awareness Month runs throughout October and you can lend support to the cause by taking part in the KnowYourBreastsChallenge by BCF, which aims to encourage every woman (and man) to be aware of breast cancer and encourage donations for breast cancer outreach.
Here’s how to participate:
1. Grab two identical or asymmetrical objects and hold them over your chest
2. Take a photo—feel free to be creative. You can crop out your face if you’re shy
3. Post your photo on your Facebook or Instagram page with the hashtag #knowyourbreastschallenge and tag @bcfsg
4. Make a Pledge of $20 to Breast Cancer Foundation Singapore here
5. Nominate and challenge at least three friends to do the same. They have 24 hours to complete the challenge once they’re tagged
With early detection, breast cancer can be more easily treated. Consider it a gift to yourself to make a monthly self-examination a habit.