Right now, more than 75 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50, and an estimated 2,700 Australian women died from breast cancer last year– this is why the Australian government is reaching out to women everywhere with the free BreastScreen Australia service.
The risk of breast cancer increases dramatically with age and this has prompted the government to increase the invitation for free breast screening from women aged 50-69 to women aged 50-74.
Early detection is critical if we want to fight breast cancer. By extending the invitation, it’s estimated that the program will deliver up to 220,000 additional breast screening services over four years. This will result in around 600 potential detections each year, giving women a better chance of fighting breast cancer.
The earlier the cancer is detected, the less invasive treatment is required and it is often more effective. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, nine out of 10 women survive breast cancer when it is detected early and given treatment.
So the big question is, when did you have your last breast screen?
To give yourself the best chance of staying healthy and fighting breast cancer, you should undergo a breast screen every two years and should also stay aware of the signs and symptoms.
Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- a new lump or lumpiness in your breasts, especially if it is in only one breast
- a change in the size and shape of your breast
- a change to the nipple such as crusting, an ulcer, redness or the nipple pulled in
- a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling or puckered skin
- a pain that does not go away.
It’s important to constantly look for these and if you notice an abnormality or change, visit your GP straight away.
So make sure you aren’t late for your next screening by calling 13 20 50 and booking in.
Tell us, when was your last breast screen?