Today, an Asian woman has twice the chance of developing breast cancer her mother had. Her daughter’s risk is four times that of her grandmother.
In a race against one of the fastest rising epidemics in Asia, doctors and researchers are toiling to find a unique key to uncoding the Asian breast cancer genetic puzzle. Such a discovery has the potential to save countless lives in Asia.
At the NUS Greater Good Series talk titled “Breast Cancer and You”, Associate Professor Mikael Hartman, a Swedish epidemiologist with the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine), emphasised that “it is absolutely crucial to develop an Asian model to detect breast cancer in Asian women”.
Chaired by Professor C N Lee, Chairman of both the University Surgical Cluster and the Centre for Healthcare Innovation & Medical Engineering (CHIME), the talk aimed to highlight the rapidly increasing problem and how technology can address it.
Apart from extensive work done in collecting data in this region and conducting large-scale genotyping to help identify barriers to early detection and treatment, Dr David Lai shared that technology will one day enable more conclusive screening, personalised medicine and precision therapy.
“In technology-advanced Singapore, we are making big strides towards the customisation of healthcare, and making it more affordable in the future,” said the Director of Surgical Research and Development at the Department of Surgery, NUS Medicine.
To make this happen, Prof Lee pointed out that private funding at an early stage of research is critical.
“In research, risks have to be taken to increase the degree of success. Private funding is necessary to fuel great ideas. It is ineffective to depend solely on government grants,” revealed Prof Lee.
The NUS Greater Good Series features talks by leading minds on topics related to philanthropy. These include generosity, giving and service to the community, as well as leadership, personal well-being and mental resilience. The Series aims to raise awareness of philanthropy and its impact on society. The Series was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Newsman Realty Pte Ltd.
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