Contributed by New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation
“Be breast aware.” “Check your breasts.” Such advice is heard often during October, Breast Cancer Month, but many women say they don’t know how to check their breasts. The result can be that either they don’t check, or they worry they’re doing it wrong.
To make it easy, the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation has produced a new video, believed to be the first online self-check video in Australasia, called TLC (Touch Look Check). It’s a far-from-expert guide for women about how to check their breasts, fronted by NZBCF ambassador and Shortland Street actress Jacqueline Nairn. Nairn encourages viewers not to get hung up on a specific checking technique. Rather, with the help of several women who agreed to be filmed checking their breasts, she explains the basics of where a woman should be feeling, and how to look for changes in the breast.
Jacqueline Nairn said fronting the two-minute video lesson was a chance to have her say on a topic close to her heart. “We women need to take responsibility for our own health, and in particular to get proactive about being breast aware. I hope TLC will give women more confidence about checking their breasts – I certainly learned a lot myself!”
“The gist of TLC is ‘Relax, and check your breasts’,” said Evangelia Henderson, chief executive at the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. “We know early detection improves survival, and that women whose cancer is more advanced at diagnosis are more likely to die of their disease. When you check your breasts regularly, you get to know what’s normal for you, so you’re more alert to changes that could indicate breast cancer.”