The “Breast” Specialist for Your Breast Health: Interview with SunMed Breast & Endocrine Surgeon, Dr Normayah Kitan
26 October 2022
In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are featuring one of our skilled specialists who plays a crucial role in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment - our very own Breast and Endocrine Surgeon, Dr Normayah Kitan!
Read on to find out what she does in her role, her experience and the advice she has to share based on her two decades of experience in the field.
What does she do as a Breast and Endocrine Surgeon?
In her role, she treats patients with breast and endocrine-related problems. This includes not only breast cancer but also breast infections and issues related to the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands.
What does she love most about her job?
The main thing that she loves most about her job is being able to help her patients. Often, when they first find out about their breast cancer diagnosis, they will be sad and unsure of what to do.
And during this time, they will often get a lot of wrong information or advice from the people around them, which will delay them from getting the treatment they urgently need for a better chance of recovery. At this stage, a lot of convincing is often needed to persuade them to get further treatment.
“Being able to convince them to go for proper treatment and finally see them be cancer-free - that is the most rewarding for me,” she shared.
What is the whole process like for patients who come in with breast cancer symptoms?
During the patient's first consultation, Dr Normayah will do a clinical examination and they will go through a mammogram and ultrasound screening.
If abnormal lumps are detected, Dr Normayah will order a needle biopsy to confirm the breast cancer diagnosis. If the suspicious lump is confirmed to be cancerous, the cancer type (aggressive or non-aggressive) and stage will be able to be determined at this point.
Next, she will discuss the patient’s condition with the radiologist, pathologist and oncologist. They will work together to come up with the best treatment plan for the patient. Depending on the patient’s breast cancer stage and whether it is high-risk or low-risk, treatment plans may include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
Once treatment is completed, post-treatment care will begin. During this stage, patients will be required to go for regular check-ups with their doctors and imaging tests to monitor their health.
What are common misconceptions about breast cancer?
According to Dr Normayah, people often believe that they will not get cancer just because they do not have a family history of breast cancer, which is not true at all.
“However, if the patient has a strong family history or is relatively young with an aggressive form of breast cancer, I will usually recommend they get tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes,” she added.
She also shared that not all breast lumps are necessarily cancer, but it is absolutely crucial that you get the lump checked out by your doctor as soon as you can.
Does she have any advice to share with women out there?
“See an experienced surgeon with relevant breast cancer expertise when you get a breast cancer diagnosis. Also, one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and doing regular exercise.”
This interview session has definitely helped us understand a little more about breast cancer, as well as the important role that Breast and Endocrine Surgeons have during the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. A big thank you to Dr Normayah, for her steadfast dedication and commitment to giving her best “breast” care to our breast cancer fighters here at Sunway Medical Centre!Back