Women urged to check on health

FOR Cancer Council Queensland the month of October is all about raising awareness and funds for women's cancers.

Fundraisers include the annual Girls' Night In campaign and Pink Ribbon Day on October 22.

Cancer Council Queensland is encouraging the state's women to prioritise regular breast screenings.

The call follows the release of figures showing that only 55 per cent of Australian women in the target age range for screening are attending free mammograms every two years.

Cancer Council Queensland Head of Programs and Research, Dr Pip Youl, said while some women are screened privately, many others may be missing out.

"All Queensland women need to be 'breast aware', and discuss their risk factors and screening options with their GP," he said.

"Equally importantly, women should see a doctor immediately if they notice unusual breast changes.

"If breast cancer is found and treated early, there is an increased chance of survival.

"It's vital that all women in the target screening group, those aged 50-69, get a free mammogram every two years."



In Queensland, the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer more than tripled from 1982 (869 women diagnosed) to 2009 (2798 women diagnosed).

The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.

In Queensland, around three-quarters of women diagnosed are over the age of 50. Women who have already had breast cancer have an increased risk of developing a second breast cancer.



People can get involved by hosting a Girls' Night In or Pink Ribbon Day fundraiser, ordering merchandise, registering as a volunteer for or donating online at www.pinkribbonday.com.au or www.girlsnightin.com.au.



More information about the rates of breast cancer in Queensland, risk factors, and Cancer Council Queensland recommendations for the early detection of breast cancer, are available at www.cancerqld.org.au


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