Women's Health: Q&A

ESG Virtual Wellness Series
- Women's Health Q&A (31/03/2021)

Women’s Health (Q & A)
- Healthy Eating and Lifestyle for Women

Wed 31 March 2021 | 12pm - 1:30pm ​


Ms. Claudia Correia

Ms. Tharisini Soorianarayanan

Dr. Lynette Ngo


This is a Q&A session with our speakers Ms Claudia Correia, a clinical dietitian, Ms Tharisini Soorianarayanan, a genetic counsellor, Dr. Lynette Ngo, a medical oncologist, and Mr. David Lim, director of Group Financial Service.


Fadyl (ESG Host): First question is for Tharisini. So even though we have the cancer gene, is there any way for us to solve or reduce the likelihood or even prevent in our lifetime for our future generation’s lifetime.

Ms. Tharisini Soorianarayanan: Thank you for the question. So let’s say someone is said to be the carrier of one of the cancer genes. It doesn’t mean that you will develop cancer. It just means that you are at a higher risk, higher predisposition from the rest of the population. So in order to know whether you carry the gene or not, that is why genetic testing is important. So let’s say if you are the carrier of that gene, you might not develop cancer in your lifetime, but then there could be an action plan that can be taken in order to reduce the, you know, in order to prevent the cancer from coming.

Fadyl (ESG Host): Thank you Tharsini Next question is for Claudia, will taking supplements and vitamins affect our kidneys?

Ms. Claudia Correia: Usually taking supplements is only recommended when you actually need it. So if your doctor tells you that you need to take it, or you see a dietician and it tells you that you should be taking it, and in those situations, it shouldn’t affect your kidneys.

Fadyl (ESG Host): Okay. Thank you, Claudia. The next question is for Dr. Lynette, is there an increased risk of breast cancer if one has been diagnosed with ENT (ear neck throat) cancer previously and is now in remission?

Dr. Lynette Ngo: ENT cancers are generally related to a viral infection. A lot of the time it’s because of the EBV virus. And generally this is not linked to breast cancer. So they’re probably separate.

Fadyl (ESG Host): Okay, we have a question for David. David, someone here said that we may have bought insurance more than 20 years ago, Is it advisable to review an upgrade for better coverage?

Mr. David Lim: Thank you for the question. It is definitely advisable to review. In my experience, there are insurance policies five, six years old that my client chooses to look at again, and actually finds cheaper plans with the same level of protection. So it’s definitely good to constantly review your portfolio with us. Thank you.

Fadyl (ESG Host): Next question will be for Claudia, what alternatives for soy are there for someone with gout issues?

Ms. Claudia Correia: Okay. So gouts is actually when evidence shows that people that have gout and have more risk of having gout, usually have it when they eat too much of alcohol or red meats meats in general. So for vegetarian sources of protein, which includes the beans, the peas, and soy. Usually what research tells us is that it doesn’t usually increase the risk of gout. So I will always recommend to evaluate and keep a food diary. When you introduce soy into your diet to see whether it will trigger the gout or not, also look for other stuff like organic meats and meats as well. So if you can’t, you notice that you can’t take soy and it does actually trigger your gout, which is also not very common in women. It’s something to look up. Gout is more frequent in men as well. Do make sure your diet is as varied as possible with plenty of vegetables and fruits and whole grains. So instead of just focusing on the soy itself, you look into the whole spectrum of diets as well, to make sure that everything is as healthy as possible, but please be assured if you don’t have gout and you never had it, you can take soy and it will not trigger gout.

Fadyl (ESG Host): Next question is for Dr. Lynette. Is there a trend in breast cancer affecting younger people? I have two friends getting diagnosed with breast cancer, both are younger than 50.

Dr. Lynette Ngo: Yes. So as we mentioned earlier, the incidents of young women with breast cancers has been increasing over the years, especially in Singapore. I’m not sure whether it’s related to diet or lifestyle, but yes, we have seen a pattern like that.

Fadyl (ESG Host): The next question is for Tharisini, what can the genetic predisposition for cancer be detected in childhood?

Ms. Tharisini Soorianarayanan: So usually genetic testing for cancers, it will be done when someone is above 18 because cancer is an adult onset disease. So that is why it doesn’t manifest earlier. Like let’s say, in your, in your childhood or in your teens. So that is when you need a recommendation for genetic testing, especially for cancers, it is done for those above 18.

Fadyl (ESG Host): We’ll take on one last question. For Dr. Lynette, I heard mammograms are not indicative of breast cancer. Is ultrasound better?

Dr. Lynette Ngo: They both pick up different things. So the good thing about a mammogram is that it can pick up pre cancer changes that occur even before cancer develops, which is why a mammogram is usually the recommended screening modality. However, it’s been found to sometimes miss certain lesions, because if the woman has dense breasts, then we might need to add an ultrasound. So an ultrasound usually picks up a lesion that is there when it has already developed, like, if there is a lump or if there’s a cyst, then it will end up. So they both look for different things. Generally, if you want to have a very good pickup rate, very high sensitivity, I would probably do both.

Key Takeaway

These specialists answer a range of questions from changing trends in breast cancer, food related inquiries as it is related to gout, how often an insurance policy should be reviewed and more.

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Our time: 12:20am UTC