Aren’t you a little bit curious about how you could change the outcomes on your personal breast cancer risk?
“We’re not curious about things we don’t know a little bit about. We have to know a little bit about something to be curious about it.” Brene Brown
The Mother’s Day Classic was held in Melbourne a while back to raise funds for Breast Cancer research.
At the time, I was listening to the radio in the car (old school I know) and a media report about the event caught me completely off guard. ‘1 in 7 women will develop breast cancer’. Huh! Did I hear that correctly? This is a significant change and it was being communicated as a ‘matter of fact’. Like it had always been the case, and it’s been bugging me ever since I heard this.
When did this change happen?
For the past 5 years, I’ve been working on A Stitch In Time- Unpacking the Risky Business of Breast Cancer Prevention. The stat has been 1 in 8 Australian women will develop breast cancer by age 85. An alarmingly high rate in my opinion and my motivation to produce A Stitch In Time.
Suddenly I’m hearing it’s now 1 in 7 Australian women. How did this dramatic change happen without anyone blinking an eye? Thousands turned out to participate in the Mother’s Day Classic fundraiser which shows how much people care about the impact of breast cancer, but I didn’t hear anyone question this revised statistic?
Are we so accepting, verging on apathetic to these outcomes that we don’t flinch at the increase rate of incidence? Do we consider this risk predetermined, already written in the stars? Do we really believe that only research into cure can save us?
Perhaps you feel that my terming this statistic change as ‘dramatic’ is a bit of an overstatement?
Look at it this way. It’s an increase in the number of Australian women being diagnosed each day rising from 48 last year to 53 this year.
Folks- that’s 5 more women per day!!!
5 more families per day are having their worlds turned upside down!
Now have a look around your workplace, if there are 7 women, one will be unlucky.
So, if you’re a woman are you going to just wait and see if it’s you?
The Mother’s Day Classic is a great event and it raises important funds for breast cancer research. Important work that can help improve outcomes for anyone diagnosed. My point is that there’s no focus on prevention.
For many women, breast cancer risk can be reduced. If you’re in a high-risk category to develop breast cancer you can also reduce your risk.
Surely I’ve piqued your curiosity about breast cancer prevention now?
Well, guess what, now you know a little bit, I’m curious- do you want to know more?
The little known…
Many of the projects I produce start with issues that are little known but super important like children’s palliative care, rheumatic heart disease and breast cancer prevention. They’re always slow to get going, no one knows a little bit about them, so they are not curious, but once they get going they have the power to change the zeitgeist.
Let’s make breast cancer prevention a topic of importance for all Australian women #AStitchInTimeFilm @astitchfilm (Tweet this)
We’re still in production on A Stitch In Time: Unpacking the Risky Business of Breast Cancer Prevention. You can join us on Facebook or send me an email if you’d like to join the list to receive updates when we release the web series. Email me here firstname.lastname@example.org
Things you can do:
In the meantime here are some simple things you can do to learn about your personal risk and prevention options:
If you don’t have a personal history of cancer you can take the 30minute iPrevent tool to help determine your personal risk.
And the BreastScreen Victoria website has a list of simple things you can do to reduce your risk.
If you are in the high-risk category due to family history or genetics you can learn a lot more and get support through the Cancer Council helpline where they’ll direct you to the most appropriate information.
Here are the stats on breast cancer.
In 2018 Australian Breast Cancer Research published that 1 in 8 Australian women will develop breast cancer by age 85. With 48 women being diagnosed each day. Link
In 2019 Breast Cancer Network Australia has released a list of statistics stating that 1 in 7 Australian women will develop breast cancer before the age of 85. 53 people per day (including men). link
To find out more about A Stitch In Time please visit About the project
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