Kylie fans donations deliver new service for breast cancer patients

Thursday 27 July, 2006

With millions expected to tune in to watch Kylie Minogue's cancer story tomorrow night, The Cancer Council is sending a big thank you to her many supporters who kindly donated to the Kylie Minogue Breast Cancer Fund after her 2005 diagnosis.

Within days of the diagnosis becoming public, and Kylie's personal appeal to fans to make a small donation to The Cancer Council in lieu of flowers and cards, the Kylie Minogue Breast Cancer Fund was created.

The donated funds will go to establishing online support for young women with cancer.  The online forum overcomes geographic and physical boundaries and allows patients from across the country to talk to each other, as well as to health professionals.

The Cancer Council Australia's CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said today a diagnosis of breast cancer was a traumatic and life disrupting experience. 'Being able to provide patients with access to timely and relevant information and support services is essential to assist them through the course of their treatment and recovery,' Professor Olver said.

'The online support will put breast cancer patients in touch with other breast cancer patients around the country and will be an important extension of The Cancer Council Helpline, our national telephone support service. Patients will also be able to access The Cancer Council's health professionals via the chat room.'

Professor Olver said people's generosity in donating to the Kylie Minogue Breast Cancer Fund had allowed The Cancer Council to develop what would be an innovative and important service to support young women with cancer.

Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005.  It is not common for women of Kylie's age to be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Breast cancer is most common in women aged over 40. About 6% of new breast cancers are diagnosed in women under 40 years and three-quarters in women over 40 years.

The Cancer Council advocates the benefits of early detection and urges women of all ages to be breast aware. If breast cancer is detected early, while still localised in the breast, chances of five-year survival are around 84%.

Breast cancer facts

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women and the leading cause of cancer deaths in Australian women.
  • In Australia in 2001, 11,791 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and there were 2,594 deaths from breast cancer.
  • An estimated 111,000 Australia women alive today have had a breast cancer diagnosis at some stage.
  • There are an estimated 33,000 Australian women currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

(Source: Cancer in Australia 2001, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

The Cancer Council encourages anyone affected by cancer who would like information or support to contact The Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20

-ends-

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:
Glen Turner ph 0412 443 212.

Stay abreast of your breasts

What you can do

  • Be aware of the usual look and feel of your breasts and see your doctor promptly if you notice any changes.
  • See your doctor for a regular breast examination, and ask about the value of a mammogram as part of your regular breast screening if you are at increased risk.
  • If you are over 50, have a mammogram (an x-ray of the breast) every two years.

Breast screening (mammography) is free, through BreastScreen Australia, to all women over 40.  If you are between 50 and 69 you should have a mammogram every two years, even if you don't have any symptoms of breast cancer.  Women aged 40-49 and those over 70 are also eligible for free screening, but are not actively recruited by BreastScreen.  Talk to your doctor or call BreastScreen in your state for an appointment.  If you are under 40 be breast awar

Be breast aware!

  • Get to know the natural shape and feel of your own breasts and what is normal for you so that you can be aware of any changes. 
  • Look for any changes in the size and shape of your breasts, skin colour, the way your breasts feel, or the sudden appearance of a raised thickening or lump in your breast or armpit. 
  • Check for any changes in your nipples, especially when you stretch your arm or chest muscles. Look to see whether your nipples have begun to turn inwards or point in a different direction. Check for rashes, soreness or any bloodstained liquid coming from your nipples. 
  • It is common to feel some pain during your period, but take notice of pain that is only in one area or different from what you normally feel. 
  • Most lumps and changes are not cancer but if you notice a change in your breast/s, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.