If you follow our blog then you would be aware that this month is Pink Ribbon month, which is a campaign that is all about raising awareness of breast cancer and teaching people about early detection and how they can reduce their risk of developing the disease.
Early detection of breast cancer is extremely important as women who are diagnosed at an earlier stage of the disease generally have higher survival rates than those with more advanced breast cancer.
So what should you be looking out for? According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation website the following could be early signs of breast cancer:
- A lump, lumpiness or thickening of the breast.
- A change in shape, crusting, a sore or ulcer, redness or inversion of the nipple.
- Discharge from the nipple that is blood-stained, clear or occurs without squeezing.
- Changes in the skin of the breast, such as any puckering or dimpling of the skin, unusual redness or other colour change.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast. This might be either an increase in size or a decrease in size.
- Unusual and persistent pain that is not related to the normal monthly cycle and occurs only in one breast.
Visit your doctor if you notice anything that you’re suspicious of, and if you’re aged 50 to 69 then you are advised to go for a breast cancer scan every 2 years at one of the 500 BreastScreen locations across Australia.
Now that you know what to look out for, it’s important to also know what you can do to help reduce your breast cancer risk.
Unfortunately age and family history can be risk factors for developing the disease, but there are other risk factors related to lifestyle choices. According to Cancer Australia the following are risk factors:
- Alcohol intake: Research has shown a strong link between alcohol and the risk of developing breast cancer. To reduce your risk of breast cancer, try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than two standard drinks a day.
- Weight: Women who put on a lot of weight in adulthood, particularly after menopause, may have a higher risk of breast cancer.
- Not being active: Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer. You don’t need to sweat it out at the gym to get the benefits. Moderate exercise, like a brisk walk, can be enough to reduce your cancer risk. And the more you do, the greater the benefits.
- Not breastfeeding: Breast may be best for both you and the baby. The more months spent breastfeeding, the lower the risk of breast cancer.
- Not eating well: A healthy diet, of at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day, may help to reduce your risk of cancer.
Professionals Fairfield Real Estate are committed to supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation in their mission to find a cure for breast cancer, but until a cure can be found it’s just as important that people are aware of what can be done to help prevent and detect breast cancer.
We hope that anyone who reads this will take the time to learn about their risks and to check for any changes in their breasts.
If you want to help support the NBCF you can list a home with Professionals Fairfield Real Estate (we donate a portion of every property sold to the NBCF) or you can head into our office to donate or to buy Pink Ribbon Merchandise.
You may also be interested in checking out Register4 if you would like to sign up to participate in breast cancer research.