Studies conducted in centres with comprehensive oncology services in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong have shown that a majority of patients with early-stage breast cancer undergo mastectomy instead of breast-conserving therapy (lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy). Young Asian women with breast seem to have unsubstantiated concerns on the safety of adjuvant radiotherapy, as well as the misconception that mastectomy offers superior overall survival compared to lumpectomy. Amidst the high mastectomy rates in Asian settings, a key concern that needs to be addressed urgently is to ensure that surgical decision-making among young women with breast cancer are guided by scientific evidence.
With this in mind, Siamala Sinnadurai embarked on her masters research project aiming to compare survival outcomes between young breast cancer patients undergoing breast-conserving therapy and mastectomy. She was supervised by Associate Professor Nirmala Bhoo Pathy along with Professor Maznah Dahlui from the Dept of Social and Preventive Medicine and mentored by Professor Nur Aishah Taib from the Department of Surgery.
Siamala conducted a multicentred study utilising data from four well-established clinical registries in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The study findings are expected to facilitate surgical decision-making in clinical practice and improve the acceptance of breast-conserving surgery across Asia. Siamala successfully concluded her viva for Masters of Medical Science in University of Malaya on 9th March 2018. Notably, she had passed her Master of Public Health from Kyoto University with flying colours as a candidate of the University of Malaya-Kyoto University double degree programme.
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