Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink Ribbon Day is Friday 8 October 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By the Time you Feel a Lump, it could be too Late!

Early detection of breast cancer is vital and means it can usually be treated before it spreads to another part of your body.  A mammogram can find a breast cancer much smaller than you may feel with self examination, giving a better chance of survival.  Don’t put it off or leave it to chance – if you’re 40 or over or have any concerns, call BreastScreen Aotearoa and book a mammogram.

To monitor your breast health, the best way is to follow this easy three step guide.

1.  Mammogram

A screening mammogram is the best method for the early detection of breast cancer in women with no symptoms.  The NZ Breast Cancer Foundation recommends a screen mammogram for women as follows:

  • 40-49: every year
  • 50 years onwards:  every two years until 74 year of age.

BreastScreen Aotearoa provides free screening mammograms to women aged 45-69 every two years.

2.  Be Breast Aware

From 20 years of age, women should become aware of how their breasts look and feel.

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Know what changes to look and feel for.  Good places to check breasts are in front of the mirror or in the shower or bath.

Remember, breast checks make some women feel anxious, while others are reassured. At the end of the day, it’s about personal choice.

3.  Your family Doctor

Breast changes to see your family doctor about include:

  • A new lump or thickening, especially if it is only in one breast.
  • A change in breast shape or size
  • A pain in the breast that is unusual
  • A change in the skin of the breast, such as: Puckering or dimpling.  Reddening or a rash.
  • Any change in a nipple, such as: A turned-in nipple, a discharge that occurs without squeezing.

For any concerns, always contact your family doctor.

For more information go to

See this month’s Next Magazine for the Breast Cancer Special.  And go to Trademe to bid on a pretty pink dress for Breast Cancer Awareness.

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