- 13,312 women diagnosed with
cancer in Victoria in 2012
4,806 women died from cancer
in Victoria in 2012
Deaths from lung (785), breast
(751) and bowel (623)
Cancer Council Victoria is urging women to
put their health first and take steps to reduce their cancer risk during
Women's Health Week (1–5 September).
Cancer Council Victoria's Screening Manager, Kate Broun, said women are often juggling commitments to
family, work and friends, leaving less time for them to think about their own health.
"During Women's Health Week, we're asking
women to stop and reflect on their health. We've come a long way in cancer
research and now have proven cancer screening programs that can detect cancer
early, at a stage when it can be most effectively treated. Yet the statistics
show that not all women are participating in these life-saving screening
Just over half (55 per cent) of targeted
women in Australia had a screening mammogram through BreastScreen Australia and
57 per cent of Australian women in the target age group had at least one Pap
test in 2010 or 2011. Only 35.9 per cent of women aged 55 years and 43.7 per cent of
women aged 65 years returned a completed bowel cancer screening kit for
analysis in 2012–2013.
"Clearly, we women could be doing a much
better job at cancer screening so this Women's Health Week commit to setting
aside the time to put your health first and get it done! It might save your
Check your breasts
Breast cancer is the most commonly
diagnosed cancer among women, with 3693 cases in Victoria in 2012. According to
the Cancer Council 50 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged
"That's why women aged 50 to 74 should
have a breast screening mammogram every two years. Women of every age should
also become familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts at
different times of the month," said Ms Broun.
Screen for bowel cancer
Ms Broun said women over the age of 50
should screen for bowel cancer every two years with a simple at-home test.
is the key to decreasing deaths from bowel cancer. The National Bowel Cancer
Screening Program allows women to do a simple test in the privacy of their own
home. Currently, the program allows for the faecal occult blood tests to be mailed
out to women when they turn 50, 55, 60 and 65, but tests are also available
from doctors, pharmacies and directly from Cancer Council Victoria. People aged
over 50 who currently fall outside the target group, or anyone concerned about
bowel cancer, should talk to their GP about bowel cancer screening."
You can also use the bowel cancer risk calculator to help assess your risk by
Have regular Pap tests
Ms Broun said all women between the ages
of 18 and 70 should have a Pap test every two years.
"Cervical cancer is actually one of the
most preventable cancers – 90 per cent of cases can be prevented by regular Pap
testing, as detecting abnormal cells early means they can be treated
Visit papscreen.org.au to find out