Our team here at Floreat Medical are keen to be involved in Breast Cancer awareness and so have rustled up a hamper basket to be raffled off. We would love you to buy a ticket at reception if you are visiting the practice in October! All proceeds will go directly to Cancer Council WA Pink Ribbon Day.
Breast cancer is a group of abnormal cells which continues to grow and multiply. Eventually these cells may form a lump in the breast. If the cancer is not removed or controlled the cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and may eventually cause death. Breast cancer is the most common life threatening cancer in Australian women and cannot be prevented. Women in Australia have a 1 in 8 risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Early detection of breast cancer, before there are any signs or symptoms, offers women a better chance of successful treatment.
How often should I have a screening mammogram? Every two years. Remember, once is not enough. Regular screening mammograms every two years assists detecting any unusual changes in your breasts at an early stage. There are some cancers that cannot be detected by screening mammograms. Make an appointment with your GP promptly if you notice any unusual changes in your breasts such as lumps, nipple discharge or persistent new breast pain, even if your last screening mammogram was normal.
Modifiable lifestyle risk factors for breast cancer There is no proven method of preventing breast cancer. However, there are some lifestyle factors that have been scientifically shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer. Talk to your GP here at Floreat Medical if you have any concerns about the points below.
- Body weight is important. If you are post menopausal, breast cancer risk increases with your increasing weight. Recommendation: Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Physical activity Women who do regular exercise have a lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with women who do not exercise. Recommendation: Do 30 to 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity at least five days a week.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT may be prescribed for the relief of troublesome menopausal symptoms. For these women, the benefits to their quality of life by taking HRT may outweigh the risks. Long term (>5 years) use of combined HRT (estrogen and progestogen) increases the risk of breast cancer. Combined HRT may also increase mammographic density which is a risk factor for breast cancer, and can make mammogram interpretation more difficult. The risk of breast cancer decreases within five years of stopping HRT, back to the level of women who have never used HRT. Recommendation: It is important to discuss the use of HRT with your doctor.
- Alcohol Drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. Recommendation: Keep your alcoholic drinks to no more than two standard drinks a day.
For more information see https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/breast-cancer-awareness