Mums need to teach their young daughters how to check their breasts for signs of cancer.
According to the McGrath Foundation you should start from as young as twelve.
The foundation’s second annual McGrath Breast Health Index revealed a variety of factors could increase women’s chances of getting breast cancer, including taking the contraceptive pill.
Research found women were more likely to conduct regular self-checks if they were taught about breast health from an early age by their mother.
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‘It’s really vital and important we are talking about this and mothers feel responsible for teaching their daughters,’ McGrath Foundation director Tracy Bevan told the Daily Telegraph.
‘Children are told about slip, slop, slap and looking after their teeth and mothers need to also include in those conversations about getting to know your breasts.’
Ms Bevan says the earlier the conversation about breast health is started the better, and believes taking to girls from age 12 is appropriate.
‘It’s not about scaring young women…but about having an open conversation,’ she said.
– Almost three quarters (73%) of Australian women consider themselves to be breast aware, yet only 16 per cent fulfil all four criteria to be considered a ‘breastpert’: awareness, confidence in recognising changes in the breast, knowledge of risk factors for breast cancer, and behaviour in terms of frequency of checking
– Australian women who have spoken to their mother about both breast awareness and puberty are significantly more likely to be ‘breastperts’, i.e. qualify for all four index criteria – awareness, self-confidence, behaviour and knowledge (26% vs 16% overall).
– Women who first learnt about the importance of breast health from their mother are more likely to check their breasts regularly.
– Fifty per cent of Australian women believe mothers are best placed to educate young women on the importance of being breast aware. Despite this, less than a quarter (22%) have had a conversation with their mother about breast awareness.
– Of topics of conversation Australian women recall having with their mothers; only 22% have had a conversation about breast awareness, ranking well below menstruation (57%), table manners (48%) and puberty (35%).
– However, times are changing – almost half (48%) of mothers with daughters aged 10 or older have had a conversation with their daughter about breast awareness. (Still lower than puberty (67%) and table manners (65%)).
– 84 per cent agree it is appropriate to talk to young women about breast awareness as part of the conversation about puberty.
Find some great tips HERE on How to talk to your teenager about breast health.
There’s no right or wrong way to check your breasts! via McGrath Foudnation
The best way to get started, is to get familiar with them – this is no time to be shy! Get to know how your breasts look and feel – look at them in the mirror, feel them standing up, lying down and with your arms above your
Look at the shape and appearance of your breasts and nipples in the mirror with your arms by your side. Raise your arms above your head and have another look..
Feel all of your breasts and nipples, from the collarbone to below the bra-line, and under the armpit too.
Once you’re up close and personal with your ‘breast friends’, you’ll be better equipped to recognise any changes.
A good tip to keep in mind is to check your breasts at the same time every month.
But so long as you’re checking consistently, you’re on the right track.
Such an important habit to teach young girls.
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