Research shows Darebin women using Cancer Council support service

Tuesday 9 September, 2008

Latest statistics from The Cancer Council Victoria show that in the past year 77% of Darebin residents seeking information and support from the Cancer Council Helpline were women, and 23% of these calls related to women’s cancers.

With the number of Helpline calls increasing each year, money raised through Cancer Council events like Girls Night In is crucial to ensure the ongoing operation of this important Cancer Council support service for both Darebin residents and the wider Victorian community.

Cancer Council spokesperson, Barbara Fernandez, said Girls Night In was a great opportunity to not only catch up with your girlfriends, but also support women in your community who are currently facing a cancer diagnosis.

"With one in nine women expected to be diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancer, the reality is it could well be you or one of your girlfriends that hears the words ‘you have cancer’. We’re encouraging women across Victoria to help change the statistics and register now to host a Girls Night In," Ms Fernandez said.

Funds raised by Girls Night In support the Cancer Council’s research into breast and gynaecological cancers, vital cancer education and prevention programs, and support services such as the Helpline (13 11 20) to support women during their times of greatest need.

Ms Fernandez said the fact that so many women were calling about breast and other cancers suggested women were keen to find out what they could do to protect themselves. She said Girl’s Night In also provided a great opportunity to also educate women about what they can do to reduce their risk.

"Early detection is the best protection and fortunately there are simple steps women can take to help them find cancer early when treatment has the best chance of success. Women aged 18 to 69 are encouraged to have a Pap test every two years to protect themselves against developing cervical cancer, and for those aged 50 and over, a two-yearly mammogram to check for signs of breast cancer is essential.

"As well as participating in appropriate screening programs, it is important for all women to be familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts and to see their doctor if they notice any unusual changes."

"Girls Night In has become the fastest growing fundraiser for the Cancer Council, and this year we hope around 4,500 women will host events across Victoria with the aim of raising over $1 million for the fight against cancer," she said.

Lock in a diary date this October and visit www.girlsnightin.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85 to find out how easy it is to get involved.