Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women, apart from non-melanoma skin cancer.

(article written by Epworth HealthCare breast care nurses Angela Ardi and Giselle Ciavarella)

As we mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, it’s a reminder to know what is normal for you and when to get something checked.

We have had plenty of time on our hands in recent months and many of us have used that time to focus more on our health and wellbeing, but we have also seen too many people putting off screening for things like breast cancer during COVID 19.

It’s important that you make sure that you book in as soon as you can if you are due for a check. If you have any concerns, even if you literally can’t put your finger on it, chat with your GP or our Breast Clinic.

We are very fortunate to have seen breast cancer survival rates continue to improve in Australia. We now see nine out of 10 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving for five years or more, from diagnosis.

Arming yourself with the right information and finding any breast cancer early gives you the best chance of surviving the disease if you are diagnosed.

You don’t need to be an expert or use any special techniques, to check your breasts.

Changes to look for include:

  • A new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • A change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
  • A nipple discharge that occurs when squeezing
  • A change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling

Most changes aren’t breast cancer, but important to see your doctor without delay if you notice any of these changes.

Breast health self-check.

You can learn more about breast services at Epworth.

Author Epworth

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