Make some screen time
THIS month was Breast Cancer Awareness month, and as many of you will know, it is the most common cause of cancer in women age 40 to 64.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over their lifetime.
Fortunately, it can usually be treated effectively when it is small and that is why screening with mammograms is so important.
Mammograms can detect between 70 per cent and 90 per cent of breast cancers and is the only proven method of early detection. A mammogram can pick up a breast cancer when it is extremely small and sometimes when it is so small that it is impossible to even feel by you or your doctor.
Screening mammograms are for women who have no symptoms and are also appropriate for women who have breast implants. They should be done every two years unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
They are free through Breastscreen WA and are recommended for women aged 50 to 74. However, if there is a family history of breast cancer you may need to start screening at a younger age.
There are companies in Perth that also offer breast mammograms and ultrasound, and these are gener- ally for women who are younger than age 40 or who have symptoms.
There are a few myths surrounding breast cancer and one of the biggest is that only women who have a family history of breast cancer are at risk.
This is false and interestingly 9 out of 10 women with breast cancer have no family history.
If you have any symptoms, regardless of age, you should see a GP.