#BreastCancerAwareness Month is now in full swing and given the events of 2020 putting our health first has never seemed to take a greater backseat. Between COVID-19, working from home, homeschooling and the constant demands of everyday life, breast checks, Doctor's appointments, and yearly mammograms can be easily forgotten.
But breast cancer doesn't discriminate and it certainly doesn't care about a global pandemic - you still need to be getting yourself to screenings and you still need to be conducting frequent self-checks. Why not use this additional time at home to get familiar with your breasts and learn how to properly conduct a quick self-check with our easy guide below:
Now is the time to get to know your normal. Understanding not only how to check your breasts but what to look for is imperative. Early detection is paramount and will subsequently lead to a better long-term outcome, the earlier you are diagnosed the greater your chance of survival.
We spoke to the incredible Dr. Eugene Moylan, a leading medical oncologist at Sydney's Liverpool Hospital on cancer, COVID, and why women need to be more proactive and prioritize their health.Self-check then screen:
We encourage women of all ages to continue to self-check regularly and whilst it is a fabulous tool, proper screening is absolutely critical. We really need women to continue to get back to that early screening, early symptom presentation. If you see something, feel something or sense something please say something.
COVID and cancer:
We have most definitely seen a reduction in the number of women presenting, where we once saw 7-8 patients a week coming through on our new patient multidisciplinary list, we are now seeing 3-4 so there has certainly been a significant drop. We have also noticed the fear in patients however, it's important to note that the health system has really ramped up the protection for both patients/staff with hand hygiene, mask-wearing, and social distancing practices all being implemented. Any medical facility is absolutely a safe environment to enter. Do not wait to present, if you have symptoms or concerns please speak with your Doctor and know we are safely here to treat you.
Health is wealth:
Whilst Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a fantastic opportunity to remind women to be proactive with their breast health it’s something that needs to be managed year long. Don't wait till October to take action.
In addition, as boring as it sounds it is important to eat well, exercise regularly, and keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. Doing all these things combined with your regular screening will pay dividends towards your preventative breast health strategy.