Become breast aware to prevent the most common cancer among Australian women

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, including International Metastatic Breast Cancer Day on the 13th of October.
 
Originating in the United States in the 1980s, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now an internationally recognised opportunity to acknowledge the impact of breast cancer on those affected and the continued research and work undertaken to improve their prognosis.
 
Abnormal cancer cells can grow uncontrollably and spread from the breast to other parts of the body, which is why our best method of surviving this disease is early detection.
 
To be breast aware, Cancer Australia explains that there is no special method or technique. You simply need to become familiar with your breasts by practicing regular self-checks. Feel and look for lumps and changes. It could be a change in the size or shape of your breast or even redness or dimpling in your skin.
 
Mammograms are great for early detection of breast cancer and are recommended every second year for women 40 and over, however, their effectiveness improves as you approach your 50s. It is harder for mammograms to detect abnormalities in younger women’s breasts which makes self-checks an imperative part of your daily routine.
 
For more information about how you can get involved in the range of events and fundraisers during October, get in touch with Australia’s main breast cancer organisations – Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), McGrath Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and Cancer Australia.