October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer is the 2nd most commonly diagnosed cancer in females in Australia.

According to the Australian Government Cancer Australia research, in 2017, Breast Cancer was the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females. It is estimated that it will become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2021 among persons overall and females.

In 2017, there were 17,725 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Australia (137 males and 17,589 females). In 2021, it is estimated that 20,030 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (164 males and 19,866 females). In 2021, it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 15 (or 6.7%) risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85 (1 in 8 or 13% for females and 1 in 829 or 0.12% for males).

According to the Cancer Council of Australia Breast Cancer symptoms:  some people have no symptoms and the cancer is found during a screening mammogram or a physical examination by a doctor.

If you do have symptoms, they could include:

  • new lumps or thickening in the breast, especially if in only one breast
  • nipple sores, change in shape of the nipple
  • nipple discharge or turning in
  • changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • skin of the breast dimpling
  • discomfort or swelling in the armpit
  • rash or red swollen breasts
  • ongoing pain that is not related to your menstrual cycle that remains after your period and occurs in only one breast.

Some factors that increase your risk of breast cancer include:

  • increasing age
  • family history
  • inheritance of mutations in the genes BRCA2, BRCA1  (more common with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage) and CHEK2
  • exposure to female hormones (natural and administered)
  • starting your period before the age of 12
  • a previous breast cancer diagnosis
  • a past history of certain non-cancerous breast conditions.

Lifestyle factors that can also slightly increase the risk of breast cancer in men and women include:

  • being overweight
  • not enough physical activity
  • drinking alcohol.

    There is also an association with some benign breast disease and past exposure to radiation.



    Did you know?

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    Disclaimer: No content on this website, or in this article, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.




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