LETTERS: Awareness of many faces and forms of breast cancer

COPMFORTING WORDS: "If you are diagnosed, know that there is support and information available, no matter what your circumstances." Photo: FILE PHOTO

COPMFORTING WORDS: "If you are diagnosed, know that there is support and information available, no matter what your circumstances." Photo: FILE PHOTO

WHAT comes to mind about when you think about breast cancer?

It’s probably the face of a woman in her fifties, possibly with a grown-up family. However, the reality of breast cancer is often a very different picture than this. 

As the peak national organisation for Australians personally affected by this disease, Breast Cancer Network Australia is using the spotlight of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to remind people that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate.

This year nearly 16,000 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer and they are from all walks of life.

While approximately 75 per cent of new cases of breast cancer develop in women over the age of 50, breast cancer also affects young women and men. It is also important to remember that breast cancer affects people from all parts of Australia, and people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

About 800 women under the age of 40 will be diagnosed in Australia this year and 150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

Our message is not to be alarmed but to be aware. It is not common but breast cancer does affect women in their 20s and 30s. If you notice a change in your breast, we encourage you to have a conversation with your health professional. Don’t think breast cancer isn’t a possibility because of your age, sex or cultural background.

The same applies for men; while breast cancer in men is rare, it does happen. Often men are diagnosed later due to a lack of awareness that they can get the disease.

As humans our default setting tends to be ‘it won’t happen to me’. That’s why a breast cancer diagnosis, or any other serious diagnosis, is a terrifying shock to our system.

There is never a good time to find out you have breast cancer. But if you are diagnosed, know that there is support and information available, no matter what your circumstances. Breast Cancer Network Australia is here to support everyone affected by breast cancer.

Christine Nolan, CEO Breast Cancer Network Australia

Mountain bike trails on Mount Canobolas

HERE we go again. Another attack on the last remnant of special natural bushland available for a quiet walk and/or meditation and relaxation close to Orange.

Somewhere people can go to regenerate in a natural Australian bush setting and one that was and no doubt still is a very important spiritual landmark for Wirragery Aboriginal Australian people.

Unfortunately we now see numerous communication towers on the mountain that certainly detract from the ambiance, but at least it is still quiet.

Any bike track must be kept away from this area. The suggestion that it be in the pine forest area has some merit. National Parks and Wildlife Service need to actively eliminate wild pigs from the area and ensure that pig dogging (a cruel activity) along with shooting is kept out.

This area contains valuable remnants of native tree and plant species that are rare and must be protected at any cost. It also is a valuable home for many native birds and other animals that anything other than passive activity will disturb.

Please keep away from this area with the proposed bike track.

Max Gregory

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