Lifestyle

I Touch Myself to become breast awareness anthem

WOMEN will be asked to touch themselves as part of a new breast cancer awareness campaign inspired by rock legend Chrissy Amphlett.

Cancer Council Queensland said the lead singer of The Divinyls wanted her song I Touch Myself to become an anthem for women's health.

Her wish is becoming a reality almost a year after she died at the age of 53 following a battle with breast cancer,

A music video has been launched featuring Olivia Newton John, Megan Washington, Sarah McLeod, Katie Noonan, Sarah Blasko,  Suze DeMarchi, Deborah Conway, Kate Ceberano, Little Pattie and Connie Mitchell singing a tender rendition of Chrissy's song.

Go to itouchmyself.org to see the the video.

Marking the first anniversary of Chrissy's passing on April 21, the campaign asks women to touch themselves, reminding them to get to know the look and feel of their breasts.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said one in eight Queensland women would be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

"Early detection is one of the most important factors in beating breast cancer," Ms Clift said.

"This campaign encourages women to get to know their breasts better - all women need to be breast aware and check their breasts regularly.

"It's critically important that women who notice changes in their breasts see their doctor immediately.

"All women should discuss their individual risk of breast cancer, and steps to prevent breast cancer, with a trained professional."

The campaign is supported by a website: itouchmyself.org, and a social media campaign that encourages people to share how they've been touched by breast cancer using the hashtag #itouchmyselfproject on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+.

More information is available at cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 131 120.

Breast checks: what to do at different ages

Age 25 to 40

  • You know your breasts, but what is 'your' normal when it comes to look and feel?
  • Don't hesitate to seek health advice if you notice any changes
  • If there is a history of cancer in your family, talk to your doctor

Age 40 to 49

  • Talk to your doctor and establish if a mammogram is right for you
  • If you are aged between 40 to 49 you are eligible for a free breast screening
  • You also need to know what is normal when it comes to look and feel, and don't hesitate to seek health advice if you notice any changes

Age 50 to 74

  • You should be having a mammogram every two years. Phone BreastScreen on 132 050 to book a free mammogram
  • Thirty minutes every two years can offer peace of mind
  • Get to know your breasts, get to know what is normal when it comes to the look and feel of your breasts and  seek health advice if you notice any changes

Age 75 or over

  • Talk to your doctor to ask if you should continue to have mammograms
  • Women over 75 may also have free breast screening mammograms as recommended by a doctor.

Reduce your risk

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing breast cancer, particularly for women who have been through menopause.
  • Be physically active. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Research suggests that vigorous exercise when you're young might provide lifelong protection against breast cancer and that even moderate physical activity as an adult can lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol. About one in eight breast cancers may be attributable to alcohol consumption. If you do choose to drink, limit yourself to one standard drink a day.
  • Don't smoke. There is no clear link between smoking and breast cancer, but toxins from cigarettes have been found in breast cells. As smoking is a major cause of heart disease, lung cancer and many other cancers. Not smoking is always a smart health choice.
     

Topics:  awareness, breast cancer, checks, chrissy amphlett



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