Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and early detection remains so important in ensuring ongoing improving survival rates in Australian women. What better time than Breast Cancer Awareness Month to start a conversation about this common yet still taboo topic.
We hope to provide the motivation and tools for discussion of breast cancer and breast screening to improve early detection amongst Australian women.
Breast health awareness continues to be an area in which some Australian women find that social and cultural barriers prevent them from accessing important information and resources. Looking at organisations such as Know Your Lemons® and Cancer Australia, we are inspired by their honest approach to overcoming fear and misinformation surrounding regular breast checks and mammograms.
It's time to step out of your comfort zone, start scary conversations and get comfortable with your bodies in order to get up close and personal with your breasts.
Ladies, it's time to get to know your lemons.
Thanks to Know Your Lemons® by World Wide Breast Cancer Organisation USA for this visual tool.
For an in-depth explanation of each of the 12 symptoms mentioned visit the Know Your Lemons® website here.
Knowledge of your own breasts, their lumps and bumps and their pattern of change is crucial in early detection of breast cancer. Monthly self checks and knowing what is normal for your breasts ensures that any changes in your breasts are detected early. 90% of breast changes aren’t due to cancer but it is important to follow up any changes in your breasts with your GP.
Regular screening mammograms (and in some circumstances regular ultrasounds and MRI) are an important part of monitoring your breast health. Having a mammogram is often a daunting time. Consider going for your screening mammogram with a friend. If you have already started your breast cancer screening journey, consider going for your mammogram with a friend or colleague who is yet to have their first mammogram. You can provide each other company and support during an uncomfortable time. It also helps you to remember when your next screening mammogram is due. What is better than screening one set of breasts? Screening two!
If you are concerned about a change in your breastsor would like to further discuss breast health and breast cancer screening please book to see your GP today.
Further resources for breast health and breast cancer screening :