NACCHO and @CancerAustralia Aboriginal Women’s Health and Breast Cancer #LotsToLiveFor video launch to share and educate

 ” Sharing Cancer Australia’s Lots to live for video on social media will start a conversation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about breast cancer and how early detection can save lives.

If you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, it is vitally important you know the normal look and feel of your breasts, the symptoms to look out for and the importance of seeing their doctor if you find a change.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Australia, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, yet Indigenous women are 16 per cent less likely to survive than non-Indigenous women.”

Professor Jacinta Elston ( breast cancer survivor )  Chair of the Cancer Australia Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control : She is a descendent of both the Kalkadoon people of North-West Queensland and the South Sea Islander people.

See Key Facts Breast cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women or Part 2 Below

Part 1 Launch today of The Lots to live for video, which features NITV’s Marngrook Footy Show presenter Leila Gurruwiwi

VIEW HERE

A new breast awareness video designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to share with family and friends on social media aims to increase early detection of breast cancer and improve survival.

Cancer Australia CEO, Dr Helen Zorbas, said the video, titled Lots to live for, had been produced to put vital knowledge about the importance of breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities.

“Finding breast cancer early, while it is still confined to the breast, significantly increases the chances of survival,” Dr Zorbas said. “Early detection of breast cancer through breast awareness and increasing participation in mammographic screening are important ways to improve survival outcomes and address the disparity in breast cancer survival between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women.”

Professor Jacinta Elston, Chair of the Cancer Australia Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control, and an Aboriginal woman from Townsville, supported the video’s message and encouraged women to share it on social media.

“Studies have shown that social media has been used effectively in getting health messages out into our community,” Professor Elston said.

See opening message

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged between 50 and 74 years are also encouraged to have a free breast screen every two years. Mammographic screening is the best early detection test for reducing deaths from breast cancer.”

Professor Elston, who is herself a breast cancer survivor, acknowledged that some Indigenous women may be reluctant to discuss a breast change, due to shame, embarrassment, fear or stigma, but that this could seriously impact on their breast cancer outcomes.

“Changes in your breast may not be due to cancer, but if you find a change that is new or unusual, it’s important to see a doctor without delay,” Professor Elston said. “We need to look after our health – for ourselves and our families.”

The Lots to live for video, which features NITV’s Marngrook Footy Show presenter Leila Gurruwiwi, is designed to be easily accessible and shareable on social media platforms widely used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Cancer Australia is committed to improving cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Dr Zorbas said.

Visit www.canceraustralia.gov.au/atsi for more information.

Part 2 Key Facts Breast cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Key statistics

Incidence

• Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

• The number of breast cancer diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women increased by over 60% between the years 2004-08 and 2008-12.

Survival

• The breast cancer survival rate was 16% lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women than for non-Indigenous women between 2006-2010.

Mortality

• Breast cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women after lung cancer (between 2007 and 2011).

• In 2010-2014, there were 154 deaths from breast cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australia.

Factors affecting breast cancer outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women:

are less likely than non-Indigenous women to have a screening mammogram

• may choose not to visit a doctor when they notice changes in their breasts.

• are less likely to undergo cancer treatment

• are less likely to complete cancer treatment

• are more likely to have 1 or more other health problems such as heart disease and/or diabetes.

As a result of these factors, breast cancer may be more advanced when diagnosed.

Key messages

Finding breast cancer early

1. Breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

• Finding breast cancer early means there are more treatment options and the chances of survival are greatest.

• More than half of breast cancers are diagnosed after a woman or her doctor notices a change in the breast.

This shows how important it is that women are aware of the normal look and feel of their breasts and are confident in reporting unusual breast changes.

How can Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women get to know the normal look and feel of their breasts?

• Women of all ages, daughters, mothers, aunties and grandmothers, are encouraged to get to know the normal look and feel of their breast.

• They don’t need to be an expert or know a special way to check their breasts. They can do this as part of everyday activities such as dressing, looking in the mirror, or showering.

Changes to look out for

There are a number of changes to look out for:

• A new lump or lumpiness

• A change in the size or shape of your breast

• A change in the nipple

• Discharge from the nipple

• Any unusual pain

• A change in the skin of your breast

What to do if women find a change?

While most breast changes are not due to cancer, if a woman finds a change in her breast that is new or unusual for her, it’s important to see a doctor without delay.

Screening mammograms

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged between 50 and 74 years are encouraged to attend mammographic breast screening every two years. Mammographic screening is the best early detection test for reducing deaths from breast cancer.

Where to go to have a breast screen?

BreastScreen Australia provides free breast screening for women 50-74 years and has services in all states and territories. To find out more call 13 20 50.

Lots to Live For!

Cancer Australia’s new video Lots to Live For was developed to put vital knowledge about the importance of breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities.

The Lots to Live For video, which features Marngrook Footy Show presenter Leila Gurruwiwi, is designed to be accessible and shareable on social media platforms widely used by Indigenous communities.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/canceraustralia/ or

https://twitter.com/CancerAustralia #LotsToLiveFor @CancerAustralia

For more information

Visit http://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/atsi

One comment on “NACCHO and @CancerAustralia Aboriginal Women’s Health and Breast Cancer #LotsToLiveFor video launch to share and educate

  1. Pingback: Breast Cancer – GerthySpace

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