October is breast cancer awareness month and the Arbee Real Estate team is committed to working with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to raise awareness and help fund research to eradicate this disease once and for all.
So far, research has found that early detection of breast cancer is a key factor in improving survival rates. Women who are diagnosed at an earlier stage of the disease generally have higher survival rates than those with more advanced breast cancer.
What should you be looking out for?
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation website, any of the following could be an early sign of breast cancer:
- A lump, lumpiness or thickening of the breast.
- A change in shape, crusting, a sore or ulcer, redness or inversion of the nipple.
- Discharge from the nipple that is blood-stained, clear or occurs without squeezing.
- Changes in the skin of the breast, such as any puckering or dimpling of the skin, unusual redness or other colour change.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast. This might be either an increase in size or a decrease in size.
- Unusual and persistent pain that is not related to the normal monthly cycle and occurs only in one breast.
Can you reduce your risk?
While most of us can do little to change the general risk factors for developing breast cancer, there are some very important things we do to help reduce our chances of getting the disease.
- Reduce your alcohol intake: Research has shown a strong link between alcohol and the risk of developing breast cancer. To reduce your risk of breast cancer, try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than two standard drinks a day.
- Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. Women who put on a lot of weight in adulthood, particularly after menopause, may have a higher risk of breast cancer.
- Be active: Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer. You don’t need to sweat it out at the gym to get the benefits. Moderate exercise, like a brisk walk, can be enough to reduce your cancer risk. And the more you do, the greater the benefits.
- Breastfeed if you can: Breast may be best for both you and the baby. The more months spent breastfeeding, the lower the risk of breast cancer.
- Eat well. A healthy diet, of at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day, may help to reduce your risk of cancer.
Visit your doctor immediately if you have any concerns. Australian women aged 40 and over are also encouraged to take advantage of free mammograms through BreastScreen Australia, even if you do not have any symptoms of breast disease.
We encourage everyone in Bacchus Marsh to find out more about breast cancer during October, and to help support research. The NBCF hopes that through research they can achieve the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030 and beyond.
If you want to help support the NBCF you can list a home with Arbee Real Estate (we donate a portion of every property sold to the NBCF) or you can head into our office to donate or buy Pink Ribbon Merchandise.
You may also be interested in checking out Register4 if you would like to sign up to participate in breast cancer research.