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screening subsidies chas

Screening Subsidies: Breast and Cervical Cancer

Breast and Cervical Cancers can be cured and prevented. If detected early, this increases the success rate of treatment plans. As breast cancer and cervical cancer can be screened, individuals who are at risk of developing these cancers should consider going for regular cancer screenings.

For Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents, subsidies are available to offset the cost of these screenings. Cervarix, a HPV vaccine is available at the polyclinics and prevents persistent infection and cervical cancer caused by HPV Types 16 and 18. Breast cancer screening mammograms can also be done in polyclinics.

Mammograms

Women aged 50 and above are recommended to go for a mammogram every 2 years. A mammogram usually only takes 15 minutes, and is generally pain and discomfort-free.

The cost of a mammogram for women aged 50 and above is free if you hold the Community Health Assistance Scheme (CHAS) card in orange or blue.

For everyone else, the subsidized cost will be:

  • $50 for Singaporean Citizens
  • $75 for Permanent Residents
  • $25 for Pioneers at participating locations

You will be eligible for the subsidy if you:

  • Are a Singapore Citizen or PR
  • Have not gone for a mammogram in the last 24 months
  • Have no breast cancer symptoms such as lumps or bloodstained nipple discharge
  • Have not been breastfeeding for the last 6 months
  • 50 years old and above

The cost can further be offset using the funds from your Medisave account, or those of your immediate family member.

Uterine cancer vaginal bleeding screening

Pap Smears

Pap smears are used to detect abnormalities in the cervix and are the best screening tool for detection of cervical cancer. The procedure takes a few minutes and is only mildly uncomfortable.

If no abnormalities are detected, you will only need to undergo another pap smear in 3 years.

Pap smears are offered at no cost by the Singapore Cancer Society Clinic at Bishan (1800 727 3333) for sexually active women above 25 years old (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents). Download their brochure to find out more.

  • $2 Subsidised rate for women who have the CHAS card in orange or blue at selected clinics.
  • $5 Women above 25 (Singaporeans)
  • $12.25 Women above 25 (PRs)

One can also get a pap smear done in a private clinic or hospital, where the price may range from $20 to $150.

Preventive – HPV Vaccinations

Women who have not done so can also consider taking a HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccination, since most cervical cancers develop due to the HPV.

Girls as young as 9 are recommended to get their HPV vaccinations, as it is most effective when taken before a woman’s first sexual experience.

Colorectal cancer can also be screened using a simple kit that can be used at home

We recommend reading Living with Stage 3A: Surviving Breast Cancer. To know more about Gynaecological Cancers, continue reading about Ovarian Cancer , Cervical Cancer and Uterine Cancer.

References:

  1. Money Smart (2019). Pap Smear Singapore Guide – How to Get Screened for Cervical Cancer (For Free!). Retrieved from https://blog.moneysmart.sg/healthcare/pap-smear-singapore/
  2. Health Hub (2019). Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Subsidies in Singapore. Retrieved from https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/costs-and-financing/30/breast–cervical-cancer-screening-subsidies
  3. Singapore Cancer Society (2016). Why Screen for Cancer? Retrieved from https://www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/get-screened/why-screen-for-cancer.html

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