2 out 3 Australian women do not know their risk

Posted in Health and Wellbeing 11 Feb 2016

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I always suspected that the majority of Australian women who are at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer do not know. So we conducted a survey of over 1000 Australian women and 2 out of 3 admitted they do not know their risk. Affirming exactly what I believed all along. That women even though they “think” about their risk, they do not actually “don’t know”.

Our organisations mission was always one of prevention, education and support – to ensure families can assess, understand and take control of their breast and ovarian health. So when we partnered with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre on making sure women are empowered through our “prevention hub” located at their hospital – we knew we needed to work together to develop a simple and lifesaving tool that can assess a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer based on her family health history. The “Know your Risk tool” is exactly that. Trying to help women be one step ahead of their risk.

Pink Hope and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Genetic Counsellor Lucinda Hossack says, “Australian women are missing potentially life-saving knowledge about their own health. The survey results highlight that women need help to understand their chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.”

The tool is for use by women with no prior history of cancer. It asks women to think about the prevalence of cancer in both men and women in their family, and whether any female family members have been found to carry the BRCA1 or 2 genes which are associated with cancer risk. The “Know your Risk” tool has been developed within EviQ guidelines and acts as a referral point for women wanting to start a conversation with their GP about their risk.

Dr David Speakman, Chief Medical Officer at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre says, “One of the best cancer prevention strategies is to have a community that is informed about their risks and empowered to act as their own health advocate.

We so strongly believe that if Pink Hope empowers women with lifesaving information they will be given more choices to ensure they are in charge of their own health. Something I personally struggled with largely alone all those years ago when I had no unique organisation that was there to help me every step of the way. I now have made it not only my personal mission but the mission of Pink Hope to find the 625,000 Australian women at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer (studies show 5% of the female population are at increased risk).

I am asking you to share this tool with the ones that you love, start a conversation about your family health history and IF you need any support we have a genetic counsellor you can chat and incredible programs and support services we can provide along the way.So here it is – Know your risk and Change your future.

Be apart of the Pink Hope prevention movement and save lives! Donate here to the work we do.

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