Breast cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand women.
Did You Know?
Breasts undergo changes throughout a woman's life, particularly the normal changes experienced during the menstrual cycle. Some breast changes may be early signs of breast cancer, including:
- a lump or lumpiness
- thickening of the tissue
- nipple changes; for example a blood stained discharge from one nipple, an inverted nipple (unless the nipple has always been turned in) and a rash on a nipple
- skin dimpling
- a change in shape
- a painful area
- a rash or red marks which appear only on the breast.
Free breast screening for women aged 45 to 69 years is provided by the national breastscreenng programme, BreastScreen Aotearoa.
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
Breast cancer is uncommon in women under 50.
Nine out of ten breast changes are not breast cancer; however it is important to have any changes checked out by your doctor straight away.
What Can I Do?
- Examine your breasts each month. Get to know your body so you can tell when anything is different.
- If you notice anything different - especially a lump where there wasn't one before - see your GP immediately.