Breast iQ Quiz
Australia-wide survey gives new insights into breast cancer understanding
As part of Breast Cancer Care WA and Steel Blue’s ‘Purple Boot Brigade’ breast cancer online education initiative Australians, have been testing their own ‘Breast iQ’ through a comprehensive, online educational quiz.
Over 3,500 participants of all ages have completed the quiz with the results giving us an insight into the understanding of breast cancer awareness and issues within our community.
Whilst it is great to see there are good breast awareness practices across the community and a strong understanding that ‘early detection saves lives’, it is evident that some outdated beliefs regarding diagnosis and risk factors are still wide-spread.
MYTHS vs. FACTS
MYTH: Family history is the biggest known risk of contracting breast cancer.
Three out of four people who completed the quiz, believe family history is the highest risk factor which is false, the majority of those diagnosed have no known family history.
FACT: Being a woman, getting older and lifestyle choices are all high risk indicators.
MYTH: Breast cancer only presents itself as a lump in the breast.
FACT: A lump in the breast is only one change that may indicate breast cancer. Other changes include:
An area of thickening
Changes to the skin such as dimpling, puckering or redness
New nipple inversion
If you notice any of the above changes please consult your GP or health professional as soon as possible.
MYTH: Most breast lumps found are cancerous.
FACT: Nine out of ten breast changes are not related to breast cancer and you should not be fearful if you discover a lump or any other changes, but it is important to see a your GP or health professional as soon as possible to be sure!
MYTH: Antiperspirants, deodorants or trauma to the breast increase the risk of breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence supporting either of these myths.
MYTH: Terminating a pregnancy can increase the risk of breast cancer.
FACT: Whilst there is again no evidence for this link, nearly 15% of participants believed this was true, with an even higher level of misunderstanding with younger survey takers.
The survey results have also shown that many people are still not aware of the best ways to reduce their risks of contracting the disease or what to look for in their own bodies. In order to reduce your own risk of breast cancer it all comes back to the basic message of maintaining an overall healthy and balanced lifestyle!
These simple tips are nothing new, but a good reminder of ways to help reduce your risk of facing many debilitating health issues!
Limit or avoid alcohol: Consider limiting alcohol to less than one drink a day or avoid alcohol completely.
Maintain a healthy weight: There's a clear link between obesity and breast cancer, especially if you gain weight later in life and after menopause. Talk to your doctor about what is a healthy weight for you.
Limit fat in your diet: To assist with maintaining a healthy weight, limit your fat intake to less than 35 percent of your daily calories and restrict foods high in saturated fat.
Stay physically active: Exercise regularly and include weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, aerobics or weights for 30 minutes at least three to four times a week.
Early detection saves lives: Be vigilant about knowing what is normal in your body! If you notice any changes, see your doctor and if you are over 40 have a free mammogram every two years.
There are no guarantees of being free of breast cancer, however healthy habits reduces the risks!