Breast cancer treatment in Singapore is costly for the woman and her family. As per stats, nearly 29% of the women suffer from breast cancer and 18% die because of breast cancer in Singapore. Treatment of cancer is expensive and its cost will also depend upon its type. The worst part is that people may or may not live with cancer.

Mastectomy in Singapore

Mastectomy is a kind of breast surgery which includes the elimination of the entire breast. There are two of mastectomy namely the simple mastectomy and the entire breast restoration mastectomy. In a simple mastectomy, the breast is removed along with the nipple. After the surgery, a patient has a flat chest with marks of surgery. In the second kind of surgery the entire breast is recreated for the patient after the removal. Tissues from various parts of the body are taken to give a shape to the restructured breasts. The breast does not have a feel like the one before the surgery. It is done for the patients to feel better.

During the time of the surgery, several complications can occur. With anaesthesia lasting for a longer period of time for longer surgeries, a patient can go through a heart attack, numbness of the breast area, and many others. After the surgery, the patient is explained how to take proper care for a speedy recovery. A patient has to undergo radiation therapy, targeted therapy and hormonal therapy to recover soon.

Cost Comparison

The cost of breast cancer ranges from $ 8,000 to $ 17,000 monthly in Singapore. The average earning of a woman being $ 4,027 per month. For mastectomy in a public hospital in Singapore, it can cost between S$ 3,937 and S$ 6,646. On the other hand, a private hospital can charge between S$ 12,686 and S$ 18,238.

Treatment and Cost

10

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

5 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 9500

Hospitals

Mastectomy refers to the partial or complete surgical removal of one or both the breasts. This surgery is most often indicated for breast cancer.

A lump in the breast or armpits is one of the earliest signs of breast cancer. It can cause a change in the shape, size, or color of the breast or nipple. Nipple tenderness, inward folding of the nipple, discharge from the nipple, and orange peel appearance of the skin of the breast are the other signs of breast cancer. Patients who observe any of the above-mentioned signs must see their physician immediately.

Who are advised to undergo breast cancer mastectomy?

Your physician may recommend you to undergo a partial or full mastectomy in the following conditions:

  • If you have a massive malignant tumor in the breast or invasive ductal carcinoma
  • If you have had a recurrent breast cancer after initial lumpectomy
  • If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with breast cancer and radiation therapy is contraindicated
  • If you have a medical history of scleroderma and have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and have a lump in the armpits

Additionally, if you have a family history of breast cancer or deleterious mutation of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, you are advised preventive mastectomy.

Pre-surgical steps

  • Securing an intravenous line
  • Oral administration of sedative drugs to facilitate placement of a breathing tube
  • Placement of breathing tube
  • Administration of general anesthesia
  • Disinfecting the surgical site

Surgical Procedure

Three types of mastectomy surgeries can be performed in the patients, depending on the extent of the tumor as determined by the CT scan and mammography reports.

Simple mastectomy

This type of mastectomy is carried out when the tumor is small and the surrounding lymph nodes are not infiltrated by the tumor cells. When mastectomy is conducted on both the breast, it is known as double mastectomy. This is also used in cases of invasive ductal carcinoma.

 Step 1: Surgical incision at the site of tumor in the breast or breasts or invasive ductal carcinoma (in the case of double mastectomy)

Step 2: Retraction of the intervening tissue

Step 3: Resection of a tumor along with some normal tissue

Step 4: Establishment of drainage

Step 5: Surgical closure of the wound

Modified radical mastectomy:

This procedure is performed when the tumor is large and involves a few lymph nodes.

Step 1: Surgical incision across the nipple

Step 2: Retraction of the intervening tissue

Step 3: Resection of the tumor along with some normal tissue

Step 4: Resection of lymph nodes into which the tumor cells drain (sentinel biopsy)

Step 5: Establishment of drainage

Step 6: Surgical closure of the wound

Radical mastectomy:

This procedure is carried out when the tumor is extensive and involves all the lymph nodes and muscles of the breast.

Step 1: Surgical incision across the breast

Step 2: Retraction of the breast tissue

Step 3: Resection of a tumor, muscle and connective tissue of the breast

Step 4: Resection of all the lymph nodes of that side of the body

Step 5: Establishment of drainage

Step 6: Surgical closure of the wound

Apart from the above three procedures, there is lumpectomy (removal of just the lump along with some of the surrounding tissue) and subcutaneous mastectomy (nipple and skin tissue are not removed).

As the anesthetic effect starts to wear off, you may start experiencing pain. Analgesics are administered through an intravenous line for the first two days after the anesthetic effect wears-off. In the case of a simple breast cancer mastectomy, the drainage tubes are removed in the immediate post-operative period. They are retained for two days if you undergo a radical mastectomy. Any signs of inflammation or redness should be immediately reported, as it may indicate infection.

Initially, clear fluid diet is given during the recovery period and then this is slowly progressed to solid food. You should take sponge baths until the incision heals to prevent the occurrence of an infection.  You may keep the arms elevated to prevent the accumulation of fluid in the breast cavity. The hospital stay for radical mastectomy is one to two days. The complete recovery may take up to six weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Singapore is generally known for its well-managed health care infrastructure and has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare. Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems in the year 2000. Bloomberg ranked Singapore's healthcare system the most efficient in the world in 2014. Three main healthcare groups exist in Singapore:
  • National Healthcare Group
  • National University Health System
  • SingHealth
The 10 public hospitals in Singapore comprise 8 general hospitals (AH, SGH, NUH, CGH, TTSH, KTPH, NTFGH & SKH), and 2 specialized hospitals (KKH & IMH). In addition, there are 9 national specialty centres for cancer (NCCS & NCIS), cardiac (NHCS & NUHCS), eye (SNEC), skin (NSC), neuroscience (NNI) and dental care (NDCS & NUCOHS). The private healthcare infrastructure in Singapore is also well established. The payment methods include private payment gateways or private insurance companies. You can expect better technology to be used in private hospitals in Singapore. Various procedures like stem cell therapy and cancer research are conducted in Singapore.
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are some of the JCI certified hospitals in Singapore :
  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  • Singapore National Eye Centre
  • National Dental Centre
  • Raffles Hospital
  • National University Hospital
  • Gleneagles Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • National Heart Centre Singapore
  • Changi General Hospital
  • National Cancer Centre
  • National Skin Centre
  • Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Since Singapore is known all over the world for some of the best medical treatments all across the globe, you can surely expect the best quality of doctors and surgeons here. This country has a very high quality of life and hence the health of people is of high priority.
People who wish to go to Singapore as a tourist for social purposes or seeking medical treatment, and require a longer period of stay beyond the Visit Pass granted on entry into Singapore, may submit an application for extension of stay (not more than 89 days from date of entry) online using the e-Service of ICA. All extension applications must be submitted online using the e-service at least seven days prior to the expiry of the visit pass to avoid overstaying. Extension of visit will not be accepted over the counter. Every visit pass issued to any person as a tourist or for the purpose of a social visit or medical treatment shall be subjected to the condition that the holder shall not engage in any form of employment (paid or unpaid) or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore during the validity of that pass unless he is a holder of a valid work pass issued under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Do visit the ICA website for further information.
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