THERE are known risk factors for breast cancer, and while some such as family history can't be changed, some can.
As with early detection, understanding the risks can go a long way to saving lives. This can include making healthy lifestyle choices and modifying other risk factors.
What are the breast cancer risk factors? Click HERE
It is important for women of all ages to self-check their breasts, and to consult their GP if they notice any changes such as:
A NEW lump or lumpiness (especially if it's only in one breast)
A CHANGE in the size or shape of the 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 the breast such as redness or dimpling
AN unusual pain that doesn't go away.
It is also recommended that women aged 50-74 take up BreastScreen Australia's invitation of a free screening. It saves lives.
It is estimated that more than 19,300 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019; more than 3000 are expected to die from the disease.
The good news is that thanks to huge strides in diagnosing breast cancer early and in treatment, more than nine out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia will survive.
From November 1, Medicare will subsidise breast cancer scans, saving women up to $1500 per scan, and PET scans for advanced breast cancer, saving up to $1000 per scan.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to focus on the disease and its impact on those affected.
And it's not only women who are affected.
While it is uncommon, men can also develop breast cancer. It is estimated that 145 men will be diagnosed this year. Find out more HERE