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Feature Article

Breast cancer: screening, prevention, support and other aspects

Kate Connolly, Haryana Dhillon, Bruce Mann, Boon Chua, Eva Segelov

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Abstract

Breast cancer survival has increased and this probably reflects the detection of earlier stage cancers through screening and the wider use of adjuvant systemic therapy. Modification of lifestyle and other risk factors reduces cancer and cardiovascular risk and promotes wellbeing. This is the last article in a three-part series on breast cancer.

Key Points

  • Over the past 25 years breast cancer survival has increased; however, indigenous Australian women and women living in remote areas have a lower survival rate compared with other subgroups.
  • Women aged 50 to 74 years are specifically encouraged to attend BreastScreen Australia for screening mammography every two years.
  • The triple test of clinical, radiological and cytological/histological assessments is an essential diagnostic approach to breast complaints.
  • Women with early breast cancer should engage in a healthy diet and regular physical activity, which promotes wellbeing and may improve survival.
  • Menopausal symptoms and psychological side effects of breast cancer treatment should be actively managed.

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