A Guide to Getting a Second Opinion on Breast Cancer

Jan 13

Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer usually feel a sense of urgency to jump right in and start treatment immediately. In most cases though, there’s enough time to do some research to ensure that your diagnosis is correct and that your treatment plan makes sense – and this process may include getting a second opinion. However, just the mere thought of getting a second opinion can feel overwhelming at the start, especially when you’ve just been diagnosed with this serious condition. No need to worry though, since we’re here to walk you through the whole process of getting a second opinion.

Why Get a Second Opinion

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is already a good reason to seek a second opinion. Most people don’t consider shopping around before buying a car, or making other major purchases. In the case of breast cancer diagnosis, it’s critically important to seek another opinion before making a decision about the treatment you’ll have.

You’ll likely be advised to change your treatment plan after seeking a second opinion from a group of Singapore oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and radiologists. Understand that even the most qualified and skilled doctors have different opinions about the best treatment option for your breast cancer type and situation.

When to Seek a Second Opinion

It’s possible to get a second opinion at any point of your breast cancer care process. Still, it’s a much better idea to seek one before starting any cancer treatment, since getting a second opinion will likely change the details of diagnosis, breast cancer screening tests, treatment options, or even the course of your entire treatment plan.

Getting a second opinion usually takes up to a few weeks. In most case though, this delay won’t be a problem and won’t interfere with your treatment’s efficacy. Just make sure that you confirm with your specialist that waiting a bit before undergoing a particular treatment is completely fine.

How to Ask for a Second Opinion

Most breast cancer patients are not comfortable about asking their for another doctor’s second opinion after doing a breast cancer screening test in Singapore. They’re afraid that they might offend their current doctor and damage their relationship that’s just beginning to take shape. After all, he or she’s a highly qualified person to help you in your moment of crisis – so it’s no wonder you’ll feel nervous about asking to consult another health expert. But do remember though, that specialists are used to having patients who seek second opinions, and in most cases, welcome the information other doctors provide.

Getting your doctor involved in this process is essential, since your second doctor will want to see all your medical records, breast cancer screening tests results, as well as your imaging studies to date. You’ll need your doctor’s help in getting health records that you can show your second health specialist. Also, some health insurance agencies require your specialist to get a second opinion on your condition, than by you.

Where to Go for Second Opinion

After informing your doctor, your next step is to find a doctor (or group of doctors) who’ll review your case and give you the second opinion that you want. Your best bet is to look for a breast cancer doctor that works as a part of a multidisciplinary group composed of pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and radiation oncologists. That particular specialist will become your point person for getting second opinions from other health experts. However, there may be times where you’ll need to approach the individual experts on your own.

If you’re concerned about the costs of getting second opinions, then you may want to limit your search to Singapore specialists who’ll accept your health insurance, or to those who are part of your health plan. Also, make sure to investigate on what your insurance covers because some plans pay for certain types of second opinions but not for others. For instance, your plan may cover a pathology second opinion but not a treatment second opinion. If cost is no issue, however, then find the doctor whose expertise seems to perfectly fit your situation and needs.

How to Make Sense of a Second Opinion

In general, you can expect getting a second opinion to do one of these three things:

• Confirm Your First Doctor’s Opinion. One of the best things that seeking a second opinion does is to confirm your specialist’s opinion. This can reassure you and increase your confidence in your original breast cancer screening Singapore tests, diagnosis, and treatment plan.

• Provide More Information Without Repealing the First Opinion. Similar with confirming your doctor’s initial opinion, getting a second opinion that provides more information about your breast cancer diagnosis or other treatment options available for you can be reassuring. This way, you get to open up to other options that were not included on your first opinion, such as various treatment approaches.

• Differ or Contradict From the First Opinion. Initially, having a second opinion that completely contradicts the first opinion that you got can be quite worrisome. However, getting a different opinion from another health expert is an opportunity to ensure that you have the right diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for it.

Make sure that you stay objective as you weigh the information from your first and second opinion. It can be tempting to agree or assume that the ‘friendlier’ doctor is right, or to believe whoever gives the better news. You may also reach the point in this process where you and your family need to make the final decision about what course of action is right for you. But whatever you decide on, its rest assured that you made one of the most informed decision possible by seeking a second opinion.

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Top Health Issues Your Man Should Know About

Nov 29

 

Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor’s office and ignoring common health symptoms. While this way of thinking could work on some health problems, there are certain medical issues that require professional help. What may seem like a normal problem to your guy could already be a sign of a more serious health condition. For this reason, we listed down some of the top health issues that you should make your man aware of.

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  1. Prostate Cancer

One in every eight men will develop prostate cancer. One study even revealed that one man dies from prostate cancer every hour, resulting to 42,000 men deaths from the disease each year. The older a guy gets, the more likely he is to be diagnosed with the illness, and more so if he has a family history of the said disease. This is why at age 50, encourage your man to undergo a PSA test. Detecting the illness early on gives them a 98 percent chance of surviving beyond five years – but this decreases to 26 percent when detected late.

  1. Testicular Cancer

This is the most common form of cancer developed by men in ages 25 to 49 years old. This equates to six men being diagnosed with testicular cancer each day, and this rate continues to double per year. So encourage your father, brother, boyfriend or any other men close to you who are in that age bracket to check their testicles regularly, know what’s normal and visit the doctor if they happen to notice any changes in their nuts. Some of the changes he should be wary of include lumps, swelling or any noticeable changes in the size, shape or heaviness of his testes.

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  1. Skin Cancer

Check his freckles, moles or any other spots on his body for any unusual changes from day to day, especially if he’s constantly exposed in the sun. A quick Google search will show you what signs you should be looking for, such as red nodules, scaly growths, or sores that don’t heal, and it’ll take less than seven minutes to check him and ensure that everything is okay. So educate him about what is and what isn’t normal with his skin’s health.

  1. Mental Health

With a study showing that 78 percent of all suicides are committed by men, being aware of the scale of mental health issues in the male population is of high importance. Having mental health problems can significantly impact the lives of men in terms of their relationship with their family, partner and the community as a whole. So if you notice that your man is struggling, do let him know that you – along with his family and friends – are always there to support him, because spending some time with your guy can be lifesaving.

Raising your guy’s awareness about these illnesses can be a real lifesaver for him. So ensure that you inform and encourage him to undergo all the necessary tests to monitor, as well as to keep his health in tip-top shape.

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Reasons Why Day Drinking is Bollocks

Jul 29

 

There will come a time that you will be invited for day drinking. If you haven’t tried it yet, it sounds fun but for those who tried it hard, they will pass. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your lunch and a glass of wine or chilling at Singapore’s famous Siloso beach with few beers. Remember that too much of something is bad enough.

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When you think about boozing during the day, you have to consider different things and factors as well as the results. Here are the reasons why day drinking is bollocks:

The heat problem

You already know that it is hot during the day but what you do not know is that alcohol is dehydrating. If this is the case, you can feel blazing heat when you drink. As you go along, your mind will be fuzzy because of the booze and you will forget things like your wallet, money, cards and even putting on lotions. You end up unpleasantly sick, broke and sunburned.

When come-down creeps

Drinking is fun until everything wears off. That is called come-down and when it creeps, it does not feel good at all. Night drinking is better since you can go to bed before the start of the hangover. In the case of day drinking, there is no other way than to keep going (for example from lunch to dinner and into the night). Sleep before hangover strikes and that can make a difference at the end of the day.

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It is a waste of a good day

It is important that your days are productive so you won’t be left out here in Singapore. If you consider day drinking, it will be a waste of a good day and everything bad will follow from hangover to fixing it. When you wake up, you will regret of your decisions and the depression will come.

These reasons will surely discourage you for day drinking booze. Drinking should be enjoyed but keep it under control. Do not wait to regret day drinking and just wished you only ordered diet Coke instead. Day drinking is also same with night drinking when you talk about the results and by product. No one is better than another because both are not good for your health.

The next time you consider booze regardless of the time, make sure that you can take it. It you have friends around, drink slowly but talk loudly.

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The Effects of Flowers

Apr 25

The dry spell is like a curse to most Singaporeans. The longest dry spell in the history finally ended with the coming of rainfall. Singaporeans were delighted because it brought the blossoming of flowers. If you happen to pass along the Taman Bedok road, you will witness the blossoming of Tabebuia Rosea or Trumpet Trees.

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According to the National Parks Board, Trumpet Trees look like Japan’s sakura. Many people who happen to pass along Taman Bedok road stop to get a picture. This goes to show that flowers bring a pleasant feeling to those who can see it. In short, flowers can bring comfort. For many, flowers are the difference between happiness and sadness.

According to a study made by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, flowers have an immediate effect on your wellbeing. Simple as they are, flowers have therapeutic effect. Participants in the study showed improvement of moods after seeing flowers. The people who were exposed to flowers showed less anxiety and greater enjoyment.

In general, plants help us increase productivity. It also cleans the air. Now that you know the importance of flowers or plants, you should do your best to always witness its grandeur. You can purchase flowers and plant it in pots. If you are working, you should bring a small pot. It can make a big difference at the end of the day.

If you witness the sight and smell the scent of a flower, it will surely stir something on you. If you have chance to get flower and put it in your living space, you should do so.

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How Our Bodies Benefit from Antioxidants

Apr 07

Many Singaporeans are not familiar about the great benefits of antioxidants. Everyone should know the benefits of antioxidants because it can make their lives better, brighter and longer. When you hear of antioxidants, it is found in fresh vegetables and fruits. It can also be found in whole grains. You will know if a food is rich in antioxidant when you see a bright coloured fruit or vegetable.

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Singaporeans should know that Vitamins A, C & E have antioxidant properties. Foods that contain rich amounts of antioxidants include greet tea, carrots, spinach, grapes, cherries, berries, oranges, pears, apples and many more. The damage brought about by oxidation and free radicals to the body is irreversible. Thankfully experts studied that antioxidants can do the trick.

If you are curious about the benefits of antioxidants, you should continue reading.

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  • Cleaning free radicals: The body is full of unhealthy things. If you ingest things that are not healthy, you will surely suffer at the end of the day. Antioxidants will help the body renew cells. It can even clean or cleanse the body by getting rid of free radicals.
  • Preserving the skin: Antioxidants differ depending on the fruit or vegetable. For the skin, there is a particular antioxidant that can help people in the preservation of their skin.
  • Minimizing wrinkles: It is believed that antioxidants are one cheap and effective way to minimize wrinkles. Wrinkles are a sign of old age, right? Thankfully with the help of antioxidants, the face will not manifest the age. You can give it a try if you like.
  • Prevention of degenerative diseases: Though there is no evidence about antioxidant’s healing powers, it was found out that it form part in the prevention of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Cancer, Macular degeneration, Cataracts, Cardiovascular diseases and many more.

Antioxidants indeed benefit the body. Singaporeans should always keep that in mind. Antioxidants can make a difference at the end of the day. To ensure that you have plenty of antioxidants in your body, you have to think about changing your diet. You can ask the doctor if you want. You can even check online articles and journals about antioxidants if you like.

More importantly, you have to think that your lifestyle directly affects the production of antioxidant or free radicals. Remember that smoking and drinking can increase the production of free radical in the body. It is crucial that you live a healthy life. Apart from that, external forces (like pollution, exposure to toxic chemicals, infection and many more) also contribute to the production of higher free radicals.

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Preparing for Blood Donation

Mar 24

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On January 21, 2014, the SPH (Singapore Press Holdings) and SRC (Singapore Red Cross) partnered to do the bi-annual blood donation drive. At the end of the activity, there were 120 blood bags collected. The bloodletting activity took place at SPH Auditorium. SPH staffs spearheaded the activity and from 12noon-5pm, the public were invited to join the bloodletting. There were about 170 donors.

It is good to donate blood and help other people. That one bag can save a life. This is a pleasant feeling. If you want to donate blood, you should be prepared. Here are some tips that you can consider:

Before the Donation

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If you want to join a bloodletting activity, you have to prepare your body. Extracting one bag of blood will surely weaken you. You can begin by maintaining healthy levels of iron in your body. It is recommended that you eat iron fortified foods (like spinach, beans, cereals, meat and fish) and get a good sleep.

During the Donation

You have to wear something comfortable. When you are at the venue, do not forget to present your donor card or other identification cards. There is no use if you are nervous. You just stay calm and relax. After the extraction, you can help yourself with the refreshments provided.

After the Donation

You need to take care of your body after the extraction. Drinking lots of water for the next 24 hours can greatly improve your condition. Remember that you do not need to indulge in strenuous activities right after the donation. Avoid lifting or exercise for that day. If you get dizzy, you need to stop whatever you are doing and sit down.

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