October is Breast Cancer Awareness month - a month dedicated to raising both awareness of this disease and much needed funding for research into its cause, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure.
Here are some breast cancer statistics* for 2016:
- Approximately 16,084 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed for the year (15,934 females + 150 males)
- Breast cancer will represent approximately 12.3% of all new cancer cases diagnosed
- Approximately 3,073 deaths are expected from breast cancer (3,046 females + 27 males)
- Breast cancer deaths will comprise approximately 6.5% of all cancer deaths
- The chance of surviving at least 5 years (based on 2008-2012 figures) is 90%
- Approximately 61,554 people were living with breast cancer at the end of 2010 (diagnosed in 5 year period 2006-2010)
Finding breast cancer early usually allows for more treatment options and can increase the chances of survival.
If you're under the age of 40, regular self-checks as part of your daily bathroom routine can allow you to get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts and detect anything new or unusual. Screening mammograms are not as effective in women under 40 years of age. Because their breasts are usually very dense, they appear like white cotton on the mammogram and this makes it difficult to detect any early signs of cancer, which appear as a small white abnormality within the cotton wool background.
For those aged 40-49 years, regular self-checks are also recommended. In addition, BreastScreen Australia offers free screening mammograms every two years for women aged 40 and over. In the 40-49 age group, mammograms are still not as effective as in older women, as their breasts are still quite dense. Mammograms become more effective closer to 50 years of age. Your GP can advise whether mammograms are suitable for you.
Regular self-checks are still recommended for women in the 50-74 years age group. Also, this is the age group in which the benefit of mammography screening has been shown to be the greatest. Remember, BreastScreen Australia offers free mammograms every two years for women over 40.
If you're 75 years or older, self-examination is still recommended and free screening mammograms are available.
Of course, if you do find something unusual during a self-check, you should consult your GP without delay. Apparently 9 out of 10 breast changes are not due to cancer (and I have personal experience with this) but you should see your doctor to be sure.
On Friday, 28 October, 2016, we hope you can participate in our one day online event which we are holding to raise awareness of breast cancer and also funds for research. By using the coupon code PINK at the checkout, you will save 5% off the purchase price of everything storewide. In turn, Naturally Safe Cosmetics will donate 5% of all sales from that day to our chosen charity - the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The event runs from midnight, 27 October 2016, till midnight, 28 October 2016.
Thank you for your contribution.
All the best.
*(NOTE: Naturally Safe Cosmetics are not health care professionals. Statistics and information provided in this article are taken from the Cancer Australia website & are of a general and informational nature only. This information has been provided in the interests of raising awareness only. If you have any concerns about your breasts, we recommend you consult your GP immediately.)