Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia, and sadly, the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer is on the increase, and it is estimated that more than 20,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021. Of these, around 19,800 will be women, and 164 will be men. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, if you have breast tissue, you can develop breast cancer. We all know someone whose life has been affected. It could be your mother, your sister, your best friend, your husband, or even you.
The good news is, that advances in research have resulted in the number of deaths due to breast cancer decreasing. Additionally, Australia has the best survival rates in the world, which is great news.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month runs throughout October, and has made a name for itself as a time to raise awareness of the disease, reflect on the importance of self-examination and early detection, and to importantly, to encourage people to donate to research in the hope one day finding a cure for this devastating disease. This year, people are encouraged to ‘rise up’ to the challenge. RISE can stand for ‘Rally In Supporting Everyone’, ‘Rally In Screening Everyone’, or ‘Rally In Serving Everyone.’ You can choose where your financial donation goes, ensuring that vulnerable women have access to breast screening services, counselling services are available for breast cancer survivors, or that vital research is continued. For more information on how you can RISE up, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, EasyDNA Australia is here to assist and provide an insight into your chances of developing breast cancer, with a test that can reveal a lot, based purely on your unique DNA. The BRCA 1 & BRCA 2 Genetic Screening Test, (Inherited Cancer Panel) detects gene mutation and analysis of the breast cancer genes to determine your risk.
This test provides the starting point for you to take charge of your breast health, and may also provide crucial information about your genetic predisposition to a range of conditions.
There is no time like right now to start taking control of your health, and it’s as simple as a basic oral swab, or a standard blood draw. While you are waiting for your results, how about educating yourself and others about the ins and outs of breast cancer.
Like all cancers, breast cancer occurs as a result of abnormal changes to the genes that regulate cell growth in our bodies. Breast cancer can begin in the fibrous tissue within the breasts, or in the breast ducts or milk producing glands. The cancer cells grow uncontrollably, and can spread throughout the breast, and on to other part of the body. Breast cancer can be non-invasive, meaning that the cancer is contained within the lobules or milk ducts, and have not progressed to other breast tissue. Alternatively, breast cancer can also be invasive, spreading out to surrounding breast tissue or lymph nodes.
Symptoms to look out for can include:
- a new lump or lumpiness in the 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
- unusual breast pain that doesn’t subside
So don’t forget to RISE Up this October, and help to support those with breast cancer. Your simple actions such as a donation or an awareness event could save a life!