SINGAPORE: Forty thousand low-income women, aged 50 and above, will stand to benefit from free mammogram screenings over the next five years.
This comes as the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) is providing S$2 million to extend the Encouragement for Active Mammograms programme (BEAM15).
Last year, 8,700 such women benefited from BEAM15, exceeding the target of 8,000.
Of the 1,200 found with abnormalities, 53 were diagnosed with breast cancer.
BCF is trying to encourage 300 to go for follow-up assessments.
According to the Health Behavioural Surveillance 2013, 40 per cent of women in Singapore, aged 50 to 69, undergo regular mammograms, compared to 60 per cent in OECD countries.
Singaporeans aged 50 and above who hold the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) card are eligible to undergo the free mammography, upon receiving their letters from BCF.
Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, said: "Particularly for low-income women, the Health Behavioural Surveillance survey also showed that for women with primary education, the screening rate is three in 10, versus nearly five in 10 for those with tertiary education.
"So we need to intensify our efforts to raise awareness and to encourage these women to come forward for regular screenings." - CNA/ms
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