October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
3 October 2023
Category: Media releases
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a timely reminder to get into the habit of regular self-checking.
College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “Seeing your GP as soon as possible if you have any concerns or notice any unusual changes to your body is crucial. Your GP will be able to provide a thorough assessment, advice and support and if need be, arrange for further testing.
“We understand that these conversations can sometimes be daunting or uncomfortable. If bringing a friend or whānau member to your appointment for support will be helpful, then we encourage you to do so.
“Understanding if there is any history of breast cancer in your family is also another factor to be aware of."
Regular mammograms should be scheduled every two years between the ages of 45 and 69. These are free of charge and can be booked by calling BreastScreen Aotearoa on 0800 270 200. Your GP can advise if you are eligible for a mammogram.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women, and the third most common cancer overall. It affects one in nine New Zealand women over their lifetime.
Overall, 85 percent of people with breast cancer survive 10 years or more, that rises to 95 percent if detected on a screening mammogram.
About 70 – 75 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are over age 50, 6 percent are under age 40 and approximately 25 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand each year.
More information can be found at: www.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz