October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer awareness month October, bay babes

October is Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and provides an opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community.

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.

Take the time this month to find out what you need to know about breast awareness and share this important information with your family, friends and colleagues.

Be Breast Aware…

Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. Remember you don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts.

Changes to look for in your breast 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 without squeezing
  • a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
  • an unusual pain that doesn’t go away

Nine out of ten breast changes aren’t due to cancer, but it’s important to see a doctor to be sure. If you find a breast change that is unusual for you, see your GP without delay.

Nipple changes

Nipple changes to look out for include:

  • any crusting, ulcer, or redness
  • any change in the shape or inversion of the nipple
  • a new discharge coming from the nipple

Most nipple discharges are not cancer. However, a cancer is more likely if:

  • discharge comes out without squeezing the nipple
  • discharge comes from a single duct in one nipple
  • the discharge is bloody
  • you are over 60 years old and it is a new discharge

If you experience any change in your nipple that is unusual for you, see your GP without delay.

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