BREAST CANCER – as women we all fear it. As humans we all know someone who has been affected by it. Yet, would you believe that new research has revealed that there is a significant disconnect between what Australian women know they ought to do versus reality when it comes to breast check vigilance?
- In the last month less than a quarter of Australian women (22%) have checked their breasts by actively looking in the mirror for size and colour changes.
- The majority of women (60%) do not feel confident when checking their breasts.
- Close to 1 in 3 (27%) do not know what’s normal when it comes to self-breast checks.
This research was conducted on behalf of Pink Hope Australia, a preventative health organisation working to ensure every individual can assess, manage and reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, while providing personalised support for at risk women.
According to Lucinda Hossack, Genetic Counsellor at Pink Hope, the research serves as a timely reminder to women to stay vigilant and stop delaying ‘breast intentions’.
Common excuses are: “too busy to check my boobs”, “too young to check my boobs”, “too healthy to be at high risk”. The fact is it doesn’t matter how healthy or young you are, vigilance is vital and if you are at higher risk you need to know what the best screening and imaging options are for you.
Whilst standard screening (offered to Australian women aged 50+ as routine) is the best option for most women, there is a group of women at a higher risk, such as those with a strong family history and women in their 40’s with dense breasts, who should undergo regular routine checks or talk to their doctor about diagnostic imaging options such as a 3D mammography exam. [ You can learn more about 2D and 3D mammograms at this post – Let’s Talk About Breasts ]
Ms Hossack advises that without knowing your personal risk profile or performing regular self assessments, the number of women who remain undetected is still too high. It’s important that all women know their risk profiles and understand the options for the most beneficial detection method for them. Women should talk to their doctor to determine risk level and the most appropriate course of action for their personal situation OR as a first step check out Pink Hope’s personal risk assessment tool which is available here: http://pinkhope.org.au/knowyour risk
The awesome thing to note about Pink Hope’s ‘Know Your Risk’ risk assessment tool is that it is easily accessible from your phone, personal computer/laptop, or tablet!
Another great resource provided by Pink Hope is this page providing guidance on self-examination:
Come on girls – let’s do better with our ‘Breast Intentions’!!
Ciao for now,
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT