The importance of Prostate and Breast Cancer Awareness
Many of us have close relatives or friends who have had cancer or know someone who does. There are many types of cancers that can affect people from small skin cancers due to too much sun or more invasive cancers such as bowel or breast cancer.
According to the Cancer Council, the survival rate in the 1980s was less than 50% whereas “almost seven in 10 Australians will survive for at least five years after a cancer diagnosis and in some cancers the survival is as high as 90%” today.
However, much more needs to be done to raise awareness of cancer and its early detection. That’s where organisations such as the Cancer Council of Australia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia play a vital role.
International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – September
It’s no mistake that a whole month has been dedicated to raising awareness of prostate cancer. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCFA) it is ‘the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia’ (after non-melanoma skin cancer).
Not only that, but it accounts for 3,300 deaths a year with some 20,000 men being diagnosed with this deadly disease. What’s more it is the cause of the deaths of more men than women dying from breast cancer. Yet 5-year survival rates at 92% are increasing for prostate cancer sufferers once diagnosed. Like many other forms of cancer, early detection is key to being successfully treated.
And whilst it is a disease more commonly associated with older men with 63% of cases diagnosed found in males over 65 years, according to the PCFA men as young as 50 can also be at risk.
The Cancer Council recommends looking out for these early warning symptoms:
- difficulty passing urine
- a slow, interrupted flow of urine
- frequent passing of urine, including at night
If in doubt, get checked out.
During September, a range of activities have been planned by the Foundation, with this year’s theme being ‘Turning Australia Blue’. Famous landmarks such as Victoria Bridge, Brisbane City Hall and Storey Bridge will be lit up with blue – all in the quest to ‘shine a light’ on prostate cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October
Like prostate cancer, breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women (after non-melanoma skin cancer).
The good news is that according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the five-year survival rate has increased from 76% to 91% since 1994. The Foundation’s goal is to achieve Zero Deaths from breast cancer by 2030. But in order to do this they need donations and community support to increase research into early detection and prevention as well as treatment.
Early warning signs to be aware of include:
- a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
- a change in the size or shape of your breast
- a change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
- a nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
- a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
- an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.
The theme for fundraising this October is ‘Pink Up This October’. You can get involved by donating to charities such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation or McGrath Foundation, set up a fund raising page, or hosting a group of friends and family in a special event such as a trivia night, or fun run.
Cancer and Life Insurance
You may be thinking of taking our cover to give you that extra piece of mind in the event you could be diagnosed with cancer. There are two main options:
Provides a benefit if you are diagnosed with terminal cancer which is generally paid in advance.
This is a specific type of insurance that provides benefits if you are diagnosed with a serious illness condition, such as cancer, and pays a lump sum on diagnosis.
which is listed in the terms of the trauma cover.
If you have had cancer you may still be able to get cover, depending on whether you are undergoing treatment or in remission and the type of cancer you had.
To learn more about NobleOak’s Life Insurance and Trauma Cover click here or to request a quote, call NobleOak on 1300 041 494.