Breast Cancer Treatment cost in Singapore

Breast cancer starts when a single cell in the breast tissue begins to divide and grow abnormally. They can spread within the breast and to the other organs. These cells mostly arise from ducts and lobules present in the breast. The treatment and prognosis of breast cancer mainly depend on the stage, its type and spread.

Breast cancer treatment in Singapore

Healthcare facilities standard in Singapore is high and reliable. Factors like world-class facilities, skilled doctors, geographical proximity and reputation of the country, makes Singapore one of the most preferred destinations. Breast cancer treatment in Singapore hospital offers top -of the line healthcare facilities, internationally trained Oncosurgeon, medical oncologist, and staff. Mostly the major hospitals in Singapore have international accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), ISO or OHSAS, which provides trust in the quality of services offered.\

Breast is women’s femininity therefore; it would be a traumatic experience for any women if diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a serious medical condition in which cells in breast grow out of control. It is the leading cause of death in Singapore and also was responsible for 29.6% of total deaths in Singapore in 2016. In order to face this ongoing race with breast cancer, the country has sharpened its healthcare system to deliver the highest quality treatment in a supportive, compassionate and innovative environment.

Cost comparison

The cost of breast cancer depends mainly on the stage of cancer. From diagnose and screening to ultrasound and surgery, there is a number of procedures which has to be performed when diagnosed with breast cancer. In screening, the cost of the mammogram, breast MRI and ultrasound is S$50- S$200, S$1,400 and S$160- S$300 respectively. However, these data are for private practices, to carry out the affordable Breast Cancer Screening Singapore, you can search for the public centres.

The Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in Singapore is around $20000 which includes single mastectomy. While in the USA and UAE, the estimated expense of the surgery is $15000 and $7000 respectively. The cost of Singapore may be higher than the other countries but with its advanced healthcare amenities and modern technology, a person can undergo a life-saving procedure without facing any hassle.

Treatment and Cost

30

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

4 Day in Hospital

26 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 18500

Hospitals

About the Breast Cancer Treatment

The recent advances made in breast cancer treatment have revolutionized the way how women from this rare disorder are diagnosed and suggested a personalized treatment plan. These advances have made it easier for the doctors to arrive at a treatment plan, which is most suitable for the patient as per their individual characteristics and needs.

Different breast cancer treatment options help destruct complex mixture of cancer cells, which are otherwise difficult to treat using conventional breast cancer treatment. The treatment is started by the doctors handling the case as soon as the breast cancer diagnosis is confirmed.

Before the article delves into the different breast cancer treatment options, lets first take a look at how breast cancer develops and what are its symptoms and diagnosis methods.

Breast cancer: What do the statistics say?

Breast cancer primarily affects females aged above 40. However, that does not mean that it does not affect women aged below 40. Breast cancer can also affect males, although rarely.

Breast cancer starts in the cells of either one or both the breasts. It accounts for more than 16 percent of female cancer and contributes to 18.2 percent of all deaths that take place around the world because of cancer.

In the US alone, breast cancer affects more than 232,000 females and 2,200 males each year. It leads to death of more than 39,000 breast cancer patients in a year.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms of breast cancer can be easily identified at home through breast self-examination. You should consult your physician on how to conduct this exam at home.

The most common breast cancer symptoms include:

  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Lump in the breast
  • Swelling in armpit
  • Change in colour and shape of the nipples
  • Rash, redness or pitting on the breast skink
  • Pain in the breast or armpits
  • Abnormal discharge from the nipples

In case of more aggressive breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, severe redness and itching may be present.

The patients are advised to contact their physician as soon as they notice any of the symptoms of breast cancer. The physician is the best person to diagnose whether it is normal or inflammatory best cancer, and accordingly, suggest treatment for breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Causes

The exact reason that causes breast cancer is unclear, despite the fact that every eighth woman suffers from it. However, there are several factors that have been associated with the development of breast cancer. Some of the breast cancer risk factors include:

  • Prolonged use of birth control pills
  • Obesity
  • Use of hormone replacement therapy
  • High breast density
  • Alcohol addiction
  • No history of pregnancy
  • Pregnancy after 35
  • Exposure to radiation

The risk of breast cancer naturally increases as women age. The risk is also higher in women who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, possess BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or who have had their periods before the age of 12.

How is Breast Cancer Treatment performed?

Most commonly, as a part of treatment for breast cancer, a surgery is conducted to remove the cancerous lump or growth from breasts. Depending on the extent of cancer and its stage, surgery may be accompanied by another form of treatment as well, which are conducted either before or after the surgery.

The doctor decides upon a breast cancer treatment plan that is most suitable for the patient. The decision may depend upon the extent of spread, the overall health of the patient, the stage and the type of breast cancer (inflammatory, cancer during pregnancy, lobular carcinoma, ductal carcinoma and invasive breast cancer).

The team that conducts breast cancer treatment includes a surgeon, medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist. The different breast cancer treatment options are divided into two types:

Local Treatment: This type of treatment is localized, that is, it is only used to treat one specific location or primary site affected by cancer. It does not have any impact on the rest of the body.

The following are the two types of local treatment:

Surgery:

It is the most common form of treatment that targets to remove as much cancer from the primary location as possible. There are different types of surgeries, which can be selected by the doctor depending upon the requirement.

  • Mastectomy:
    In this type of breast cancer removal surgery, the entire breast is removed to eliminate cancer cells. It can involve either one or both the breasts.
  • Breast-conserving surgery:
    In this type of surgery, only the part of the breast containing cancer is removed. The goal is to remove just cancer and some part of surrounding healthy tissues and leave the rest of the breast as is.
  • Lymph node removal:
    This type of surgery is sometimes conducted in addition to either of the first two types of surgeries, in case cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
  • Breast reconstruction:
    This type of surgery is conducted after the removal of cancer, in case the patient demands to improve the appearance of the breast mounds after the removal surgery.

Radiation therapy:

Radiation is required by some breast cancer patients, mostly in addition to other types of treatment.  It is typically used in case of patients who have undergone mastectomy, breast-conserving surgery or if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Delivering high dose radiation to the affected part of the body helps reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

The radiation can either be delivered externally or by placing a small radioactive pallet in the affected area internally. The latter form of radiation therapy is known as brachytherapy.

Systemic Treatment:

This type of treatment involves the used of drugs that can be administered either orally or intravenously. The choice of drugs depends on the type of systemic treatment opted for, which, in turn, is dependent upon the extent and the type of cancer.

Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy are the three primary types of systemic therapy for breast cancer treatment.

Of all the three forms of systemic treatment, chemotherapy is the most common. Chemotherapy is recommended before the surgery to reduce the size of the tumor and after the surgery to kill off the remaining cancer cells. It involves the intravenous administration of specific anti-cancer drugs.

Hormone therapy is most commonly used in cases when the patient has tested HER-2 positive in the biopsy. Targeted therapy, on the other hand, is less commonly used.

Recovery from Breast Cancer Treatment

Recovery after breast cancer treatment is less painful and traumatic as compared to some of the other types of critical cancers. Therefore are, however, certain changes that breast cancer patients may have to deal with after their treatment. Some of these changes include the following:

  • The menstruation cycle is almost always affected by breast cancer patients during chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The patient experiences a temporary menopause that lasts for over a few months after the treatment. Therefore, the patient is expected to experience a few symptoms related to menopause, such as fatigue, mood swings, and hot flushes.
  • The fertility of the woman is also affected by the treatment. Therefore, they may feel affected physically and mentally and may need a strong emotional support during the recovery period.
  • In some women, the affected breast or both the breasts are removed surgically as a part of the treatment. As a result, they may lose their confidence because of their changed physical experience. However, they can opt for cosmetic surgery to regain the size and shape of their breast.
  • The side effects of cancer treatment such as extreme weakness, reduce appetite, weight loss, hair loss, and reduced immunity can be painful to deal with. Other side effects such as vomiting, nausea, headache, and joint pain can be effectively managed with the help of proper medications.

The medications after cancer treatment may continue for a few years to keep the regrowth of cancer cells in check. It may take several months for the patient to recover from the after-effects of cancer treatment.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

Why go for Breast Cancer Treatment in Singapore?

The treatment plan for breast cancer, best decided by a multi-disciplinary team, will depend upon on the type of cancer, its stage, grade and tumor size, and whether the cancer cells are hormone sensitive, or not. Treatment seekers usually make their way to abroad if the cancer cells start developing in their body, but it is important which country you are aiming at. Singapore has been actively promoting its medical tourism industry by attracting up to 2000 patients annually. From 2011 to 2015, about 1,927 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Singapore each year and thus, Singapore has already strengthened its healthcare system to fight against the most occurring disease in the country, that is, breast cancer. Singapore draws tourists with its world-class and well-equipped infrastructure, cleanliness and English speaking staffs. Being the leading destination for breast cancer for its cost-effectiveness, Singapore offers the best pre and post-treatment handled by topmost surgeons.

What is the cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in Singapore?

In addition to the emotional and physical challenges, breast cancer can also be financially debilitating. As it comes in different forms, breast cancer surgeon will determine the suitable treatment for you based on the type of breast cancer, its stage, size, and so on. To evaluate the extent and the nature of the lump growing in the breast, mammogram and breast ultrasound are advised to the patients. The Cost of Mammogram in Singapore and ultrasound is S$ 50- S$200 and S$160- S$ 300 respectively.

Surgery of Lumpectomy cost S$4,866- S$7,112 where the surgeon removes cancer and a small amount of surrounding tissue while surgery of Mastectomy will costs S$12,686- S$18,238 in which removal of the whole breast takes place. Although this data are for private practices, public hospitals certainly offer a lower cost. On the top of that, if you have undergone for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, the expense will go up to S$20,000 to S$50,000 at a private hospital, depending upon the type of reconstruction.

Which are the top Hospitals and top Oncologists for Breast Cancer Treatment in Singapore?

Cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer among women and in Singapore, 1 out of every 16 women is likely to be afflicted by breast cancer. Thus, the country offers a comprehensive range of specialist and a full range of medical, surgical, and diagnostic service for battling cancer to provide a reliable Breast Cancer Treatment Singapore. Check the list of top hospitals for breast cancer treatment in Singapore:

  • Mount Elizabeth Hospitals

  • Gleneagles Hospitals

  • Raffles Hospitals

  • National Cancer treatment

  • National University Hospitals

  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospitals

Now, below are the top oncologists for breast cancer treatment in Singapore:

  • Dr. Lynette Ngo Su Mien

  • Dr. Koong Heng Nung

  • Dr. Ho Gay Hui

  • Dr. Preetha Madhukumar

  • Dr. Yong Wei Sean

  • Dr. Tang Choong Leong

  • Dr. Kho Sunn Sunn Patricia

  • Dr. Tan Hiang Khoon

Which are the best cities for Breast Cancer Treatment in Singapore?

For breast cancer treatment in Singapore, you can pay a visit to Mount Elizabeth Hospitals which is located at Orchard and Novena. Also, Gleneagles Hospital at Napier road, National University Hospitals located in NUH medical centre at 5 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital at 100 Bukit Timah Rd, where breast cancer can be treated successfully.

What is the success rate for Breast Cancer Treatment in Singapore?

Diagnosed with breast cancer means many trips to hospitals or cancer care centres and the success rate highly depends on the stage of breast cancer. In Singapore, the scenario of breast cancer tells the success story of those patients who get acquainted with their early symptoms. According to Singapore’s latest cancer registry report, the patients who were diagnosed at stage 1 had a 91% chance of surviving as compared to that 21 % of cancer patients who were diagnosed at stage 4.

FAQ's Related to Singapore

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in Singapore?

The accredition of hospitals in Singapore is done by Joint Commission International as an international accredition agency. When it comes to healthcare quality and patient safety, the hospitals in Singapore are assessed by the Joint Commission International or JCI. Any hospital in Singapore that has been apprised by and approved on Organisation management by the Joint Commission International is the one which is really sought after by all. Hospitals in Singapore are given the accredition by Joint Commission International post stringent assessment measures.

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in Singapore?

The popular multi specialty hospital groups in Singapore are as follows

  1. Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  2. Raffles Hospital
  3. National University Hospital
  4. Gleneagles Hospital
  5. Singapore General Hospital
  6. Changi General Hospital
  7. Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  8. Tan Tock Seng Hospital
  9. Parkway Hospitals Singapore

The patient ecosystem that frequents the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore is made up of international patients because of the high quality of medical care available. The high benchmark of the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore is due the wide coverage in terms of the specialties covered by these hospitals and the quality of specialists operating in the hospitals. The patient community loves the popular Singapore multispecialty hospitals because here you get the best of treatment in really less waiting times.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Singapore?

The high standards of healthcare infrastructure which is the identity of the healthcare ecosystem in Singapore is a good reason for you to choose Singapore as your treatment destination. The healthcare community and healthcare providers in Singapore are best known for providing the best of clinical care and aiming for the highest clinical outcomes. The high service levels with which patients are being treated in the hospitals in Singapore is the reason for its popularity as a medical tourism destination. Singapore is a medical tourism hub because it has high degree of access to quality healthcare for all and seamless travel opportunities.

What is the quality of doctors in Singapore?

It is important to know that with immense practical knowledge in their specialisation and being thorough professionals, doctors in Singapore are among the chosen few. Precision and efficiency of treatment are the focus areas of the doctors in Singapore and assessed on these parameters Singapore can be said to have great quality of doctors. The quality of doctors in Singapore will be high considering that with an influx of international medical tourist, doctors in Singapore have a vast international exposure. The presence of sharp skills and being educated from the best of the educational institutions means that the doctors in Singapore are most sought after by the patients.

When traveling to Singapore for medical treatment, what essential documents do I need to carry along?

We bring to you the list of documents needed for your medical travel to Singapore:

  1. Medical Records and Reports describing your medical condition
  2. Communication from the hospital and/or the doctor that has referred you
  3. Passport
  4. Treatment Plan and Frequency of treatment
  5. Fit to travel confirmation
  6. To and Fro travel tickets
  7. Visa relevant to your visit as a medical traveller to Singapore
  8. Proof of financial means for travel and treatment
  9. Credit Card/Debit Card/Valid internet banking account in Singapore

While you are planning your journey to Singapore as a medical traveller, it is important that you create a checklist of the documents that you need to carry. Your financial documents, travel documents and your medical condition related documents are the three kinds of documents that you need to carry on your medical travel to Singapore. It is essential to make sure that your travel documents align with your medical travel visa requirements making your treatment, stay and travel back a seamless process.

What are the popular procedures available in Singapore?

The popular procedures available in Singapore are as follows.

  1. Dentistry
  2. Orthopedics
  3. Cardiology
  4. Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery
  5. Ophthalmology

Cardiology procedures have long been the forte of healthcare providers in Singapore owing to their expertise stemming from the best of education and training in performing these procedures. The Orthopaedic surgery procedures are synonymous with excellence as they are performed with precision and efficiency in the hospitals in Singapore. Singapore has long been famous for cosmetic surgery procedures some of which are:

  1. Liposuction
  2. Rhinoplasty
  3. Face Lift
  4. Breast Augmentation
  5. Blepharoplasty
What are the other facilities provided by hospitals in Singapore?

Many additional facilities are provided by the hospitals to make the duration of stay comfortable for the patient and the people accompanying them. Hospitals in Singapore are constantly putting efforts in making your travel and transfer seamless by providing you facilities such as:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Flight Booking
  3. Airport Transfers
  4. Interpreter

The payment facilities available in the hospitals in Singapore are private payment gateways and the option of getting private insurance. The hospitals in Singapore focus on patient centric care by conducting health screening programmes, dietitians and pharmacies within hospital premises.

What is the procedure for obtaining medical visa for Singapore?

When you are applying for a medical visa for Singapore visit do check the visa requirements for your country as Singapore has relaxed visa norms vis a vis many countries. Let us have a look at the required documents for medical visa for Singapore:

  1. Passport with the required time validity
  2. Completed application form
  3. LOI or Letter of Introduction from a local contact in Singapore
  4. A recent passport size photograph
  5. Bio data page photocopy of the passport of the applicant
  6. Covering letter and forwarding letter

Please check the required visa fee from your country for Singapore medical visa. The medical visa processing time from Singapore is 5 working days and this excludes the day of visa submission (delays due to incomplete applications or during peak periods is not ruled out). In order to ascertain that your financials are in order, the concerned officials will check your original bank statements during your assessment for Singapore medical visa.