Understanding Breast Cancer And Its Available Treatments

Medically reviewed by Dr Johann Tang, Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

Breast cancer affects many women in Singapore. Fortunately, with early detection and treatment, patients are able to make a full recovery. Learn more about what breast cancer is, symptoms and risk factors, as well as the options for breast cancer treatment in Singapore.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer refers to cancer that occurs in the breast, and is the most commonly occurring cancer amongst women in Singapore, with over 2000 women diagnosed each year. The type of breast cancer is determined by where cancer cells begin to grow in the breast, such as the ducts, lobules, and connective tissue. Common symptoms of breast cancer include the presence of breast lumps, breast thickening or swelling, irritation or redness of the skin, bloody nipple discharge, and pain. Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer include age, specific genes, family history of breast cancer, reproductive history, diet, body weight and extent of physical activity, as well as intake of hormones. 

Compared to other forms of cancer, the chances of surviving breast cancer markedly increases with early detection, particularly from stages 0 to III where the cancer tumour has yet to metastasise and spread to other parts of the body. Early detection facilitates prompt breast cancer treatment, allowing Singaporean women an excellent chance of making a full recovery. Women above the age of 40 are recommended to undergo a mammogram, which uses X-rays to screen for key symptoms of breast cancer. We also provide radiotherapy treatments at affordable costs, allowing Singaporean women to seek timely treatment to beat cancer and continue living fulfilling lives.

What radiotherapy treatments are used to treat breast cancer?

Generally, breast cancer is treated via surgery in the form of a lumpectomy or mastectomy, chemotherapy, as well as radiotherapy. Here are some commonly utilised breast cancer radiotherapy treatments in Singapore.

Conventional Radiotherapy

Conventional, also known as 3D Conformational External Beam Radiotherapy, 3D CRT is one of the most commonly used breast cancer treatments in Singapore. It incorporates imaging technologies such as MRI and PET to create detailed 3D images of the tumour and surrounding tissues, allowing for the precise direction and conformation of radiation beams as well as the proper radiation dosage needed. This reduces the damage to surrounding healthy tissue, while delivering radiation more safely and accurately. 


IMRT stands for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, which utilises multiple small beams of radiation directed from various angles to deliver radiation to the targeted region. Similarly to 3D CRT, IMRT also utilises precisely modulated radiation beams which conform to the 3D shape of the tumour, greatly increasing its precision and significantly reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This in turn results in fewer side effects over the course of treatment.


APBI stands for Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation,  which utilises precise radiation beams to destroy cancer cells in a partial area as compared to the entire chest. APBI involves a shorter treatment course compared to other forms of radiotherapy, and is particularly effective when utilised following breast surgery. It offers various advantages to patients, such as minimised radiation exposure which results in fewer side effects and greater success in saving healthy breast tissue.

Our clinic in Singapore is committed to providing cost-effective radiotherapy treatment. We accept various modes of billing and payment, along with Medisave and various forms of insurance to alleviate treatment costs. This lets you enjoy peace of mind and not compromise on your health, particularly for cancers such as breast cancer where early detection and treatment is paramount.

Looking for effective breast cancer treatment in Singapore? Get in touch with us today to arrange for an appointment and consultation.

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Dr Johann Tang

Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Medical Director of ME Novena Specialist Group Pte Ltd
MBBS (Aust), FRANZCR (Radiation Oncology)

Dr Johann Tang is the Senior Consultant and Medical Director of ME Novena Specialist Group Pte Ltd. at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and an Assistant Professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Singapore.  Dr Tang’s journey towards being a radiation oncologist in Singapore started with him obtaining his medical degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia, in 1998 and completing his house officer training at the Hunter Area Health Service before returning to Singapore to complete his National Service in the Singapore Armed Forces Medical Corps. Thereafter, he did his specialty training in Radiation Oncology in Singapore at the National University Hospital (NUH). After obtaining his fellowship from the Royal Australian College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) in 2007, Dr Tang underwent breast brachytherapy fellowships at the University of Wisconsin as well as prostate brachytherapy, skin, and paediatric fellowships at the Peter Maccallum Cancer Institute, Australia. In 2021, Dr Tang underwent a fellowship at the New York Proton Centre with Dr Charles Simone in head and neck, re-irradiation, paediatric, prostate, and lung cancers.

Why Choose Dr Johann Tang

Dr Johann Tang is an experienced radiation oncologist and cancer doctor who aims to deliver the highest level of care to his patients, especially when it comes to radiation therapy and cancer treatment. As a cancer specialist in Singapore, he is dedicated to understanding each patient’s condition and providing holistic, customised care that is both effective and compassionate. With ethics and empathy at the core of our practice, we strive to understand your individual needs and provide care that is compassionate and responsive.

Experienced Radiation Oncologist

Dr Johann Tang is a highly experienced radiation oncologist and cancer specialist in Singapore, with over 20 years of experience treating various cancers in both adults and children and several accolades to his name. Prior to entering private practice, where he is currently a senior consultant and medical director. Dr Tang was at NUH for 18 years, from 2001 to 2019. Dr Tang spearheaded and built up the breast brachytherapy (Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation APBI), outpatient interstitial image-guided cervical brachytherapy, and paediatric radiation therapy services at NUH to provide an array of the latest and best cancer treatment options for patients. As a cancer doctor, Dr Tang is also passionately involved in research, having authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and won several research prizes.

Evidence-based Treatments

Dr Johann Tang and his team utilise technology that has proven to be effective in cancer treatment. Having decades of experience in treating and researching the disease has enabled Dr Tang to remain current and on top of best practices and novel techniques, providing his patients with full assurance that they are receiving the most effective treatment available.

Patient-centered Care

Dr Johann Tang’s patients are his top priority. He journeys with them from diagnosis until the completion of treatment. With Dr Tang, all patients can be fully assured that their clinical needs and well-being are attended to. Dr Tang is also passionately involved in research, having authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and winning several research prizes.

"I guarantee my very best expertise delivered with compassion and dignity as we journey TOGETHER to BEAT this dreaded illness."

- Dr Johann Tang

Make An Enquiry

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Prefer to talk? Call us directly at +65 6690 6811
or email us at drjohanntang@gmail.com

Contact Dr Johann Tang

ME Novena Specialist Group
@ Mt. Elizabeth Novena Hospital

  • 38 Irrawaddy Road #08-36/7/8/9 Singapore 329563
  • drjohanntang@gmail.com
  • Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 12:00pm

    Sat: 8:30am-12:00pm

    Sun & Public Holidays: Closed

ME Novena Specialist Group Pte Ltd
@ Proton Therapy SG

  • Amnios Building 1 Biopolis Drive, #01-01 Singapore 138622
  • drjohanntang@gmail.com
  • Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 12:00pm

    Sat: 8:30am – 1:00pm

    Sun & Public Holidays: Closed

ME Novena Specialist Group
@ Mt Alvernia

  • 820 Thomson Road, #06-65/66 Mount Alvernia Hospital Medical Centre Block D Singapore 574623
  • drjohanntang@gmail.com
  • Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 12:00pm

    Sat: 8:30am-12:00pm

    Sun & Public Holidays: Closed

ME Novena Specialist Group Pte Ltd
@ Farrer Park Hospital

  • 1 Farrer Park Station Road, #11-01 Connexion Singapore 217562
  • drjohanntang@gmail.com
  • Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 12:00pm

    Sat: 8:30am-12:00pm

    Sun & Public Holidays: Closed