by Medindia Content Team on  October 22, 2007 at 10:56 AM Cancer News
Online Calculator to Assess Breast Cancer Risk Launched
Australia's National Breast Cancer Centre has launched an online calculator that will enable women to assess their individual cancer risks.

The project was unveiled at Sydney Monday to coincide with the Pink Ribbon Day. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Australian women.

Centre spokeswoman Dr Karen Luxford says the website lets women enter their characteristics and family history to calculate their risk level.

"[The calculator determines the result by] your age, your weight, your height, your history, and whether there's been any breast cancer in your immediate family, and your level of alcohol consumption," she said.

"A whole range of different things, and it automatically calculates your risk level."

Dr Luxford says it is still important for women to regularly examine themselves and to have a check-up with a GP if they notice any changes in their breasts.

New South Wales Assistant Health Minister Verity Firth says encouraging statistics released by the the State Government today show a record number of women are now using breast screening services.

"Regular mammograms have hit a new high, more than 405,000 women aged 50 to 69 are now using the Government's free breast screening service," she said.

Ms Firth says events like Pink Ribbon Day help to support the many Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

"The thing about Pink Ribbon Day is, it's about awareness of breast cancer, but it's also about donating money for research and care," she said.

"Approximately one in eight New South Wales women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime."

Meantime the country's Health Minister Tony Abbott said the ruling coalition would spend more than $40 million in new funds to help women with breast and ovarian cancer if it was re-elected.

Speaking at the annual Pink Ribbon Day breakfast in Sydney, Abbott said $23 million would be spent on breast prostheses for women who have had mastectomies.

"A lot of women who have had breast cancer feel scarred and damaged," he said.

"They feel they are no longer a complete woman and this is a way they can resume their life, feeling as womanly as humanly possible."

He also promised funding for 30 specialist breast care nurses and on-going funding for the new National Centre for Gynaecological Cancers.

Source: Medindia

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