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Health

Ensuring Comfort and Support for Breast Cancer Patients in Singapore

Breast cancer is a significant health concern affecting women in Singapore, with a high incidence rate and significant mortality. The journey of breast cancer treatment can be challenging, not just physically but also emotionally and financially.

It is vital to provide comprehensive care and support to breast cancer patients throughout the treatment and recovery process. Explore various aspects of breast cancer care in this article, including treatment options, surgery care, and the importance of a nursing care plan.

Treatment Based on Factors

Breast cancer treatment in Singapore involves a multidisciplinary approach, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and targeted therapies. Every patient’s treatment plan is personalised based on factors such as:

  • type and stage of cancer
  • overall health
  • individual preferences.

The primary goal of treatment is to eliminate cancer cells while preserving the patient’s quality of life.

Breast Cancer Surgery and Nursing Care

Breast cancer surgery is crucial in managing the disease. Surgical procedures such as lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery) and mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts) are commonly performed. After surgery, patients need specialised care to ensure proper wound healing and minimise complications. Nursing care is done during this period to monitor the surgical site, manage pain, and provide emotional support. A well-designed nursing care plan addresses every unique need of the patient.

The Key Components of a Nursing Care Plan

A nursing care plan for breast cancer should encompass several key components:

  1. Wound care management, including regular assessment of the surgical site, cleaning, and dressing changes as needed.
  2. Pain management, involving the administration of appropriate pain medications and monitoring their effectiveness.
  3. Emotional support, nurses should provide a compassionate and understanding environment for patients to express their fears and concerns.
  4. Education on self-care practices, such as proper hygiene, nutrition, and exercises, empowers patients to actively participate in their recovery process.

Addressing the Financial Burdens

Apart from the medical aspects, breast cancer care also entails addressing the financial burdens associated with treatment. The costs of breast cancer care in Singapore can be high, with treatments averaging from 8,000 SGD to 17,000 SGD monthly.

Additional expenses (e.g., transportation costs for hospital visits and post-surgery home care) can further strain patients and their families. So it is important to explore available financial assistance options, such as government schemes like Medisave, Medishield Life, Medifund, and ComCare. Private insurance plans, including Integrated Shield Plans, Critical Illness Policies, and Cancer Insurance Plans, can also provide additional coverage.

Home Care Services

Home care services significantly contribute to the comfort and well-being of breast cancer patients during their treatment and recovery period. Caregivers from organisations offer professional medical support in the comfort of the patient’s own home. This eliminates the need for frequent hospital visits, reduces the risk of infections, and provides a more personalised and supportive environment.

Nursing procedures can be performed at home, ensuring the same level of effectiveness as in a hospital setting. Home care services also offer post-hospitalisation care to allow a smooth transition from the hospital to home and reduce the need for nursing home placement.

Emotional and Psychological Support

Breast cancer care should prioritise the holistic well-being of patients. On top of medical and financial support, emotional and psychological support throughout the treatment journey is crucial.

Support groups and counselling services give patients a safe space to share their experiences, fears, and hopes with others who understand their journey. Having a strong support system means a lot for breast cancer patients, and their families and friends should be encouraged to actively and proactively participate in their care.

Conclusion

Ensuring comfort and support for breast cancer patients in Singapore requires a comprehensive approach that addresses their physical, emotional, and financial needs. Breast cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, should be accompanied by specialised nursing care plans tailored to each patient’s needs. Access to financial assistance programs and private insurance help alleviate the burden of treatment costs. Home care services offer personalised care and support in a comfortable environment, promoting better outcomes and quality of life. We can empower breast cancer patients by providing holistic care and support.

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