Working as a breast surgeon in a large maternity hospital like KKH inevitably means treating patients with breast cancer in pregnancy. Giving a cancer diagnosis to a woman, especially a young expectant mother, never gets easier. As I initiate treatment with a dedicated team of oncologists and breast care nurses, I witness how these young women bravely overcome their initial shock and fear and entrust us to battle this terrible disease with them. Spurred on by the need to overcome breast cancer for their young families, they develop a steely resolve to surmount all difficulties that come with their treatment. I am constantly amazed by them and inspired to do better. Over the years, we have strived to understand pregnancy associated breast cancer better, fine tune our treatments and increase awareness among our staff and the public. Support from our O&G colleagues is paramount as they initiate the referral and work-up for these patients, provide fertility preservation and monitor the health of the baby. Our greatest reward is seeing patients complete their treatment and bringing their happy healthy babies to our clinic. Medical science has given us an ever expanding arsenal of drugs and surgical techniques to treat breast cancer but what underlies our successful outcomes is the human factor, a potent combination of a patient’s sheer will to battle a life threatening illness and the people around her devoted to providing guidance and support on this life changing journey. - Dr Tan Qing TingConsultant, KK Breast Department, KKH
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