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Know your breast cancer risk

21 Aug 2019

 

9 in 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer didn’t have a family history of it and didn’t know they were at risk.

 

Nepean Cancer Care Centre Breast Cancer Medical Oncologist, Dr Ana Vasista says there is a need to continually urge women to have a mammogram every two years.

 

“Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer before it can be seen or felt, which allows for less invasive treatment and better recovery.”

 

“One in eight women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and less than 10 per cent of them will have a family history,” says Dr Vasista.

 

Almost two-thirds of women (65 per cent) surveyed by the Cancer Institute NSW think they are not at risk of developing breast cancer because they don’t have a family history.

 

By detecting breast cancer early you can reduce the likelihood of a woman needing invasive treatment, such as a mastectomy or chemotherapy.

 

“We’re encouraged by the fact that more than 25,883 women aged 50 to 74 across the District have gotten a free, state-of-the-art mammogram through BreastScreen NSW over the past two years. However there are still a little over 27,500 women who haven’t had a screening yet.”

 

In 2019, it’s estimated more than 286 women in the District will be told they have breast cancer and 49 women will die from breast cancer.

 

Dr Vasista’s encourages people to make simple lifestyle changes to help reduce their breast cancer risk including:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking

To book a mammogram today with BreastScreen NSW, please phone 13 20 50. You can search for your nearest BreastScreen NSW service by visiting breastscreen.nsw.gov.au