How To Be A ‘Breastpert’

The McGrath Foundation tracks breastpertise each October through the McGrath Breast Health Index, which comprises four factors:

  • Awareness of breast health
  • Confidence in being able to identify changes in the breast
  • Knowledge of risk factors for breast cancer
  • Behaviour, or frequency of breast self-checks

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According to the 2016 McGrath Breast Health Index. only 15 per cent of women in Australia met all four criteria to be considered ‘breastperts.’

Education is key to improving the level of breastpertise among Australian women. While the McGrath Foundation’s education programme and app, Curve Lurve, offers tips and guidance for being breast aware, conversations are a crucial tool in building knowledge.
Conversations that matter aren’t just about family health history – in fact genetic links account for only around 10 per cent of all breast cancer diagnoses. They’re also about passing on information: how to check your breasts, what to look for, and when to see a doctor.

The research showed: More women had had conversations with their mothers about table manners or hairstyles than about breast health, although menstruation was the most common topic raised Рsuggesting that health and changes in the body were top of mind.

Women whose own mothers had talked to them about breast health were more likely to talk to their own daughters about the topic. In fact, 7 in 10 mothers of teenage daughters who had a conversation with their own mother about breast awareness in turn had a similar conversation with their own daughter or daughters. This is more than twice as many as those who had not had a conversation with their own mother about breast awareness.

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