Recommendations on prevention and screening for breast cancer in Hong Kong. Academic Article uri icon


  • In Hong Kong, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and poses a significant health care burden. The Cancer Expert Working Group on Cancer Prevention and Screening (CEWG) was set up in 2002 by the Cancer Coordinating Committee to review and assess local and international scientific evidence, and to formulate recommendations for cancer prevention and screening. After considering the local epidemiology, emerging scientific evidence, and local and overseas screening practices, the CEWG concluded that it was unclear whether population-based breast cancer screening did more harm than good in local asymptomatic women at average risk. The CEWG considers that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against population-based mammography screening for such individuals. Women who consider breast cancer screening should be adequately informed about the benefits and harms. The CEWG recommends that all women adopt primary preventive measures, be breast aware, and seek timely medical attention for suspicious symptoms. For women at high risk of breast cancer, such as carriers of confirmed BRCA1/2 deleterious mutations and those with a family history of breast cancer, the CEWG recommends that they seek doctor's advice for annual mammography screening and the age at which the process should commence. Additional annual screening by magnetic resonance imaging is recommended for confirmed BRCA1/2 mutation carriers or women who have undergone radiation therapy to the chest between the age of 10 and 30 years. Women at moderate risk of breast cancer should discuss with doctors the pros and cons of breast cancer screening before making an informed decision about mammography screening every 2 to 3 years.

publication date

  • December 2018