Never was breast cancer going to be my story – Dr Esther Chuwa

Esther Chuwa Breast Care Practice
Dr. Esther Chuwa
, Consultant Breast & General
MBBS(S’pore), MRCS Edin, MMed
(Surg),FRCS Ed(GenSurg),FAMS

Dr Esther Chuwa graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1999 and received her general surgical training at the Singapore General Hospital and National Cancer Centre. She was among the first in her cohort to complete her Advanced Surgical Training and was named top candidate by the Board of Examiners of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh in her qualifying examinations.

In pursuit of her passion for breast surgery, Dr Chuwa chose to devote her practice solely to the management and research of breast diseases by joining KK Breast Unit in 2006- the only stand-alone breast surgical unit in Singapore.

Recognizing the importance to balance oncologic control and cosmetic outcomes in the surgical treatment of breast cancers, Dr Chuwa embarked on an oncoplastic breast fellowship at the renowned Nottingham Breast Institute, United Kingdom, under the Human Manpower Development Plan Award in 2009.

She has undertaken visiting stints and observerships at the breast and reconstruction units at  various renowned institutions including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City, USA, the Lyon Berard Cancer Center in Lyon, France and Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Dr Chuwa  ranks among the few local breast surgeons to have received formal training in oncoplastic breast surgery.

She now offers this as one of the surgical options of breast cancer treatment. Her other specializations include minimally invasive breast biopsy techniques and localization and excision of non-palpable breast tumours.

Dr Chuwa has published widely in several local, regional and international journals. She has authored a book chapter reviewing the outcomes of oncoplastic breast conserving surgery. She is involved in several multi-institutional research collaborations under the A*star and National Medical Council Research Grants. Dr Chuwa is also a member of the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists, International Society of Surgery/Breast Surgery International as well as, the American College of Breast Surgeons., International Society of Surgery and Breast Surgery International. She serves as journal reviewer for international journals including Clinical Breast Cancer and an ad-hoc reviewer for Journal of Gynaecology and Minimally Invasive Therapy.

Dr Chuwa has been actively involved in promoting breast cancer awareness through various public outreach initiatives since 2006. This culminated in her conceptualization and setting up of a holistic breast cancer support programme, Alpine Blossoms, at KK Breast Department, which she chaired from 2008 till 2012. She is also a member of the Women’s Health Advisory committee; pivotal in making recommendations to address women’s key health issues in Singapore. In recognition of her devotion towards patient care, Dr Chuwa has received multiple service awards including the EXSA Singapore Excellent Service Awards.

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