The National Screening Unit (NSU), the Cancer Society of New Zealand and The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation recommend all women to be ‘breast aware’. This joint consensus statement provides guidance for women on what breast changes to look for as part of general body awareness.
In New Zealand women, breast cancer is the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer related death. Each year in New Zealand, around 2500 women develop breast cancer and around 640 die from it. A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases with age. Approximately 70 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are 50 years of age or over.
Even in countries with mammographic screening programmes, many breast cancers are found by women themselves. Most of these changes are discovered by chance, for example, when women are dressing or showering. It is important that women are able to recognise any possible symptoms and seek medical advice as soon as possible.
To learn more, download our joint position statement: