Pain 'not even 10 per cent that of childbirth'

SINGAPORE - A common reason for not going for a mammogram is the lack of time - an excuse 59-year-old Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob knows only too well.

She put off going for a mammogram for five years.

The reason? No time, she told yesterday's launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is in October.

This year's campaign highlights reasons women give to avoid screening.

The Jurong GRC MP said: "I started asking myself whether 'no time' is a valid reason, or whether I'm just deliberately putting it off." Madam Halimah, who went for the test last month and got the all-clear, also expressed concern about low screening rates among Malay women.

Referring to another excuse women give for not having a mammogram, she said the pain during the test is "not even one-tenth" that of giving birth.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, 49, told the launch that she has been going for yearly checks. Her insurance company sends her yearly discount coupons for health screening for her birthday.

She urged women to similarly "take charge of their health".

"Women, very often, are the caregiver in the family but we need good health to do that," said the MP for Yuhua. "There is nothing to be afraid of," she added.


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