‘Breast Intentions’ – Know Your Risk!

May 31, 2016
breast cancer, know your risk, risk assessment tool

breast cancer, know your risk, risk assessment tool

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!

Pink Hope, Breast Cancer, Know your risk,

pink hope, breast cancer, risk assessment, know your risk

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

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  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit May 31, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Thanks Min! This is valuable.
    Love the title of your post! Clever

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Thank you Leanne! I can’t take the credit for ‘Breast Intentions’ – that all goes to Pink Hope! 🙂

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 31, 2016 at 7:09 am

    good post, good reminder!

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Thanks Lydia. Yes we all need a good prod and reminder now and then. This is just so important!

  • Reply Jody at Six Little Hearts May 31, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I have breast cancer right now. I am too young, low risk, I breast fed (and was breastfeeding when I realised something was wrong). I have had many kids too, which was meant to diminish my risk to nothing.
    And yet, I have breast cancer.
    I was diagnosed with a whopper of an almost 5cm tumor which had spread to my lymph nodes, 3 days before Christmas. I endured 4 months of dose-dense chemo. I have just had surgery to remove my affected lymph nodes and face a lumpectomy in a few weeks as well as radiation and 12 months of Herceptin IVs.
    Cancer is horribly real, undetectable (until it’s quite advanced) and so bloody easy to develop. Don’t ignore your body girls! Check those boobies because it might save your life.
    Great post and a very important one!

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Oh Jody – I didn’t know! All the very best with your treatment and I will be sending all my positive thoughts and vibes for a positive outcome for you. The circumstances you’ve outlined here just go to prove that no-one is immune, regardless of being young or low risk so EVERYONE needs to be vigilant. Big hugs to you Jody. xo

  • Reply Tegan May 31, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I’m hyper vigilant when it comes to checking my breasts and keeping an eye on them. My class at school was shown how to do a breast exam (complete with model breasts made of silicone) and it’s stuck with me since. Thanks for the informative post!

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Good to hear you are vigilant Tegan! xo

  • Reply Hugzilla May 31, 2016 at 10:14 am

    This is really, really scary. I remember when cancer used to seem like an “old person disease”, and now it seems to effect people who are younger and younger.

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:45 am

      It is scary for sure. I too remember when cancer seemed like something old people got. It does seem to be effecting people who are younger and younger all the time. I’m not sure why that is but gee it’s scary!!

  • Reply JF Gibson May 31, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for the reminder Min. It’s something that I know I don’t do enough of.

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:46 am

      I could do more also Jodi! I have 2 yearly mammograms but I could do more, so it’s a very good kick up the backside!

  • Reply Natalie @ our parallel connection May 31, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Thanks Min. I started having mammograms at 40yrs old and will continue every couple of years. Better to be here for my kids than scared

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 11:47 am

      I do the same Natalie. Think I was probably around 40 when I started having mammograms too.

  • Reply Renee Wilson May 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I had a benign tumour removed when I was 19, so I’m quite vigilant about checking my breasts and have done the research to know how to do it properly. Great post, Min. Thanks for helping to raise awareness.

    • Reply Renee Wilson May 31, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      And dropping in via #teamIBOT

      • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 8:39 pm

        Thankyou. I love #teamIBOT !! 🙂 xo

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Oh Renee that would have been a scare for you at age 19. Good that you’ve not become complacent and are still vigilant. xo

  • Reply Deborah May 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I’m actually overdue for my scan Min, so this is a timely reminder AND I’m overdue for a skin check as well. I really must get my act together! There’s no excuse!

    • Reply Min May 31, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      I’ve overdue for a skin check too Deb. It’s been weighing on my mind. Must act on it! xo

  • Reply Kit@lifethroughthehaze June 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    This is so important. I think we all know about it but often really believe that it is just not going to be us.
    I had CIN3 & Stage 1 cancer cells cut out from my cervix at 26 (that was the 0.001% of cervical cancers that fall into the fast growing hormonal NOT HPV related). I had a hormonal benign tumour the size of an orange and most of my left ovary removed in 2004 at 33. When I was 35 I spent Christmas Day in ICU after I had a liver resection for a 19cm tumour on my liver that turned out to also have stage 1 cancer cells in the hard core, and then most recently in 2012 a week before my 41st birthday I had what my dr was certain was just dry skin cut out of the corner of my eye that turned out to be stage 1 melanoma, even my GP and skin specialist were surprised with that! Every single time I have been lucky enough that the surgical excision was all that was required and the oncologists didn’t want to do chemo or radiation as there was no spread. I HATE cancer! My nephew has brain cancer that for now is sitting dormant but we know because of the type it is, it will become active again.

    Girls while we are on the topic of checking our bits please make sure to get your pap smears done. Yes they are uncomfortable and yes it can be slightly awkward but honestly it can save your life! Even if you have had the HPV vax please don’t think you are immune to cervical cancer. You are only protected from 70% there still a whopping 30% that are related to hormonal cancers. These can be incredibly fast growing and cervical cancer is NOT painful until it has started to eat into other areas like the muscle wall of the uterus. Well it is certainly no more painful than period pain so if you get bad cramps you are really more likely to dismiss it as normal for you. Please just get your pap smears done!

    Kit xoxo

    • Reply Min June 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Wow Cathy – I had no idea you’d had some cancer scares! I hope that is the end of it for you! Oh and how scarey for your nephew and all the family! I hate cancer too! It takes beautiful people from this life way too soon. It’s a bastard thing! You are so right – Pap smears are extremely important to get done regularly also. xoxo

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