On International Women's Day a reminder to look after your health.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women but most women will survive it particularly if caught early. We have an excellent mammography screening program available at BreastScreen WA. This is free and available for all women over 40 and recommended every 2 years. A proportion of women will be reported to have a normal mammogram but "dense breasts" which makes the test less sensitive at picking up early cancers - it is important to follow this up with your GP.
The other routine, highly successful, screening program is for cervical cancer. The new 5 yearly test is replacing the previous 2 yearly Pap test (if you last test was a Pap you should have the new test when the Pap was due not at 5 years). Many women's lives have been saved through this screening and in combination with HPV vaccine program we are seeing the incidence of cervical cancer steadily dropping over the past 30 years.
Whilst not pleasant, these tests are important and may save your life - make sure you're up to date.