• Jessica Taylor Yates

A Handy Guide To Checking Your Own Boobs

Think it doesn't have anything to do with you? Think again, my friend.

Source: BreastScreen Victoria (edited)

-October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let's talk about it -

Ever seen those ads that are like, 'Check your breasts for anything unusual' and you're like, 'Um, I have no fucking idea what to do, or what I'm looking for? Or maybe you're like, 'Ugh, that's not me, I'm fine, it's not in my family.' You're not alone. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't check. Luckily, we have an expert on hand to guide us through. Friend of LAL Lisa Hochberg is a Project Manager with BreastScreen Victoria, and is here to give us the lowdown on our bewbsss.

What is it you do?

Um, not this. Source: GiPHY

I work for BreastScreen Victoria (BSV), which is part of a government-funded national screening program to find breast cancer early. I manage projects that educate diverse communities about breast cancer and early detection, hopefully leading to their participation in early detection screening (mammograms/breast x-rays). I also manage behavioural research projects looking into why people don’t check for cancer early, and trial/evaluate strategies to increase participation in cancer screening programs...ok I’ll stop there before I lose you. (Ed: you weren't losing me, but it made me think about what I do in my day compared to this, and the answer is...not a lot).

How many women in Australia get Breast Cancer (BC)? Give us some stats.

Source: GiPHY

  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with 1 in 7 women diagnosed by the age of 85.

  • Males can get it too, but of all cases diagnosed, only 1% of them are in men.

  • 75% of breast cancer occurs in women aged 50+.

  • Most women with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.

  • Only 5% of women are at a moderately increased risk or high risk of breast cancer due to family history.

  • In good news, the 5-year survival rate is 90%.

  • There are currently 392,451 people living in Victoria who are eligible for a free breast screen with BSV and are not screening regularly, which is recommended every two-years between 50-74 years. (BreastScreen Victoria participation data 2017-19).