In WA alone, 1,737 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Detecting breast cancer early is a crucial part of beating it. That's why we're asking women to take the time to be breast aware.
No two breasts are the same, so it's important to be familiar with what's normal for you. Getting to know the normal look and feel of your breasts will help you notice any new breast changes.
What should you be looking out for?
With the support of Pharmacy 777 we've made it easier to spot new breast changes with our FREE 5 Signs Guide - which comes with a handy waterproof bathroom hanger! It's the perfect way to learn what's normal for you and understand how to identify early signs of breast cancer.
Why is it important to be breast aware?
Our Cancer Smart Manager, Melissa Ledger, said it's important that all women know what they can do to help find breast cancer early.
"Being breast aware and knowing what to look for could help find breast cancer early which means there are more treatment options and the chances of survival are greatest.
"With a one in ten WA women at risk of developing breast cancer in the lifetime, it's important that women be breast aware.
"Get to know what is normal for you. Be breast aware in the shower when getting dressed, looking in the mirror, putting on body lotion, lying down in bed. You don't have to be an expert or use a special technique."
It's all about raising awareness and educating the community about the importance of regular breast checks - either via your Doctor or by performing a self-check, said Pharmacy 777 General Manager Jovana Seat.
"Pharmacy 777 is very happy to support the Cancer Council in sharing this very important message."
If you notice a change that is unusual for you, see your doctor without delay.
Reducing your risk
There are a number of known lifestyle risk factors that increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Some of these include being overweight or obese, not doing enough physical activity, a poor diet and alcohol consumption.
"It's the breast examination (and an early treatment if required) paired with dietary changes and lifestyle factors that contribute to favourable outcomes. Our Pharmacists work with patients, in collaboration with their GP, to support them in ticking all those boxes", said Jovana.
Apart from being breast aware and participating in regular screening, women can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by:
- Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity most days
- Being and maintaining a healthy body weight
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol intake
To reduce your overall cancer risk you should also:
- Quit smoking
- Ensure you are always SunSmart
- Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and legumes beans
- Avoid processed meats (like ham, salami and bacon)
- Limit your intake of red meat to 500g a week
- Eat foods which are high in fibre - like fruits, vegetables and wholegrains
What about breast screening?
It's recommended that women aged 50-74 years have a screening mammogram every two years as this is the age group in which the benefit of mammography screening has been shown to be the greatest. BreastScreen Australia offers free screening mammograms for women aged 40 years and over.
For support and information on cancer and cancer-related issues, call our cancer nurses on 13 11 20.