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View statistics on breast cancer on the AIHW site.

View survival data on breast cancer on the AIHW site.

View current evidence-based research on risk factors on the National Breast Cancer Centre site.

View information about early detection of breast cancer

 

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    BreastHealthLink Home Page

    Breast Cancer Awareness|Signs of Breast Cancer |Are you at risk |Glossary | Resources
    | Lifestyle and wellbeing

    I found a lump

    If you have found a lump in your breast or are concerned about breast changes, you should speak to your doctor about the triple test. The triple test consists of clinical examination of your breast and a discussion of your history, mammogram and/or ultrasound and a biopsy. Note that many women may not need all these tests.

    Experts no longer recommend breast self examination each month. Normally women will find a suspicious lump themselves in the shower or bath. Research in Russia and China where Breast Self Examination is not routinely practiced, indicates that this does not increase survival or significantly improve detection.


    If breast cancer is detected early, while still localised in the breast, chances of survival are better than if it were spread to distant parts of the body.

    BreastScreen Australia has set a goal of achieving a 30% reduction in breast cancer deaths based on a participation rate of 70% in mammographic screening for women aged 50-69.-

    Key Points

    • Ask about the triple test if you are not sure that your concerns are being followed up
    • Don't panic, 9 out of 10 lumps are benign or have a cause other than cancer (e.g. cysts)
    • Early detection improves survival, if not sure follow up with your doctor or specialist. Persist if you have unexplained symptoms
    • GPs see an average of one confirmed breast cancer diagnosis a year. If you are not comfortable with the answers your GP gives, or their knowledge, seek other help

    Why the triple test?

    The reason for the triple test is:
    • 99.5% of cancers will be found by one or more of the three tests in the triple test
    • Mammograms do not always show a lump which is felt by breast examination
    • Breast examination may not be able to feel a lump found on a mammogram
    • A biopsy will confirm or eliminate a breast cancer diagnosis
    • The National Breast Cancer Centre has an excellent publication on breast changes and diagnosis of breast cancer- click here to order it.


    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is the clearing house for all cancer statistics in Australia. The collection of data is drawn from the state cancer registries and analysis of the data cannot be undertaken until all states have submitted material.
    Visit www.aihw.gov.au to view statistics on breast cancer.

    From the menu on the left of the screen select 'view survival data' to download AIHW Publication 'Breast Cancer Survival in Australian Women' for the period 1982-1994 which draws on information from state cancer registries.

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