B R E&A S T OVAR­IAN CAN­CER

Homes+ (Australia) - - PLUS HEALTH -

Women will have ac­cess to a free mam­mo­gram ev­ery two years from age 50 to 74, though your GP may rec­om­mend one at 45 if you present with any­thing that re­quires cau­tion. It’s also im­por­tant to self-check your breasts. Visit Breast­cancer.org.au for a demo.

Ovar­ian can­cer is most com­mon in women over 50 or who have gone through menopause. Other risk fac­tors in­clude reach­ing pu­berty be­fore 12 and menopause af­ter 50; not hav­ing chil­dren or hav­ing them over the age of 30; en­dometrio­sis; or be­ing over­weight. The symp­toms are sim­i­lar to many other is­sues women ex­pe­ri­ence: pelvic or ab­dom­i­nal pain, in­creased ab­dom­i­nal size or per­sis­tent ab­dom­i­nal bloat­ing, and need­ing to uri­nate of­ten or ur­gently.

If you have a fam­ily his­tory of breast or ovar­ian can­cer, talk to a GP. With im­proved clas­si­fi­ca­tion of can­cer types, it’s now known the ma­jor risk genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are mainly as­so­ci­ated with high-grade serous ovar­ian can­cer (HGSC). Women who carry this gene may not de­velop ovar­ian can­cer, but the chances are high and there’s a risk of de­vel­op­ing other can­cers like breast can­cer.

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