This October, Breast Cancer Month, an emotional campaign by the NZ Breast Foundation will remind women that finding cancer early, through a mammogram, might mean the difference between relief and despair. Here are some new facts and figures that support why it is so important to get checked.
- New data shows significantly greater breast cancer survival for women within the free screening age group (45-69) when their tumour is found on a mammogram.
- Of those in this group whose cancer was found from their screening, 94 percent were alive five years after diagnosis, and 86 percent ten years after diagnosis.
- For those women who found their cancer through a lump or other symptom, five-year survival was 80 percent, and ten-year survival just 68 percent, indicating that breast cancer cannot always be found through simply checking your breasts regularly and finding a lump.
Chief Executive of the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Evangelia Henderson adds 'we sometimes hear people say, ‘Everyone knows about mammograms.’ But the fact is, 30 percent of eligible women aren’t enrolled with the free screening programme, and every year another 30,000 women turn 45. So our message this Breast Cancer Month is, get your mammogram – do it for yourself, and for your family. Relief is so much better than despair.”
For extra information on Breast Cancer Month, breast cancer symptoms, mammograms, how to donate to the Foundation and more, visit www.nzbcf.org.nz