Your browser version is no longer supported, so you may experience issues while using this site.
Please upgrade to a current browser to enjoy the best experience.

Four things every woman should know for breast health 

8 October 2019

Share this: 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in New Zealand and the third most common cancer overall – but early detection and being breast aware can save lives.

Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand’s vision is that one day no one will die from this form of cancer. We got in touch with the Foundation to discuss what women need to know for breast awareness.

Here are four things to know to take care of your breasts – you can remember these with the acronym BRAS!

1. Breast awareness – be breast aware from age 20

Young women get breast cancer too. If you’re 20 or older make sure you know the look and feel of your own breasts so you can self-check and spot anything unusual. Breast Cancer Foundation calls this TLC (touch, look and check). Check out their video on how to perform a self-check here.

2. Reduce your risk – drink less alcohol, keep active and maintain a healthy body weight

There’s no definite way to prevent breast cancer and there are risk factors that can’t be changed (like getting older, breast density and having a family history of breast cancer). However, there are a few risk factors that you can take into your own hands. Making healthy lifestyle choices, reducing alcohol consumption, keeping active and maintaining a healthy weight, may reduce your chance of developing breast cancer. And, of course, when you make these choices there are other physical and mental health benefits too! Find out more.  

3. Act on breast changes – show your doctor any unusual changes

Breasts do change and most of the time these aren’t cancerous. But it’s very important to show your doctor any unusual changes, or anything you’re not sure about. Always be alert for lumps, skin changes, thickened tissue, nipple changes, changes in breast shape and unusual pain that won’t go away. If you experience any of these, show your doctor. Find out more.

4. Screening mammograms – if you’re 40 or older book regular mammograms

Early detection can make a huge difference. Women have a 92% chance of surviving breast cancer for ten years or longer where the cancer is detected by a mammogram. Breast Cancer Foundation recommends starting mammograms at 40. Find out more.

For more information about breast awareness, taking care of your breasts, breast cancer and breast cancer support, visit the Breast Cancer Foundation website.

The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. Full details of policy terms and conditions are available from Asteron Life Limited or your financial adviser. For advice on product suitability, please contact your financial adviser. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Asteron Life Limited and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.

Keep reading

10 of the best: Fun family activities for the school holidays


10 of the best: Fun family activities for the school holidays

Take a look at some of these great ideas for some school holiday activities and see if there are any that you, your children and other loved ones would like to add to your list.

7 times in life to check your insurance


7 times in life to check your insurance

By Claire Sutton

Big milestones in life are a great chance to celebrate, but they can affect things like life and income protection insurance as well.

Asteron Life joins the Jammie Army!


Asteron Life joins the Jammie Army!

Find out why we’ve joined Middlemore Foundation’s Jammie Army to support Jammies in June.