October recognises many exciting holidays; Halloween, Labour Day and Thanksgiving (for anyone from the US!) The autumn leaves are starting to fall away and summer is fast-approaching. But more importantly than all of those is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, running from October 1st to 31st every year.
According to Cancer Australia, breast cancer remains “the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer)”. In the US, 1 in every 8 women will be affected by breast cancer in her lifetime.
Chances are, you or someone you know first-hand will be affected by this disease, so from now until the end of the month, spare a second to think about what you can do to educate yourself – and what you can do to help women in need.
There are many great ways to get involved in this worthy cause, whether it be a financial donation, volunteering, or simply wearing a pink ribbon to raise awareness in your local community.
Another great way you can help is by encouraging a family member, friend or colleague to get a breast check up at your local GP. After all, one of the best thing’s women can do is to be proactive about their breast health. Education and early detection can save lives.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides some excellent resources, including a free “Know the Symptoms” guide via www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-symptoms-and-signs. However, not all signs and symptoms are immediately obvious, and regular monthly self-examinations are highly encouraged. These help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.
Changes to look for include:
a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one 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
an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.
Here at Walker Street General Practice, we are passionate about prevention. We have launched our Women’s Health Clinic to provide thorough health check-ups for women aged 25 and above; and that includes a cervical screening and breast examination.
The clinic is run by our expert team of female doctors; each of whom has a special interest in women’s health. The appointment costs just $35 out-of-pocket for Medicare card holders. So, if you have 30 minutes to spare, spend it wisely and book in at your local Bowral doctors today.
Head to www.wsgp.com.au/womens-health/ for all the details. You can also make an appointment on the site using our online booking service; just ensure you select the “Women’s Health Clinic” option on the site, to ensure we set aside enough time for a thorough appointment.
In the meantime, don’t forget to visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month to learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, whether you need information, help, or hope.