Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) with 1 in 8 Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in the lifetime. Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.
On average, 481 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every day. In 2018 alone, there were 3128 breast cancer-related deaths.
Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. Remember you don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts. Most changes aren’t due to breast cancer but it’s important to see your doctor without delay if you do notice 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
Breast cancer is the most common cancer experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. Research shows that the survival rate is lower in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women diagnosed with breast cancer than in the general population.
Cancer Australia is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to provide women with important information about breast cancer awareness, early detection as well as breast cancer treatment and care.
For more information visit: Cancer Council Australia, Breast Cancer Network Australia or National Breast Cancer Foundation websites.