New e-guide provides online breast cancer education
30 October 2012
New e-guide provides interactive, online breast cancer education for NZ women
The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation has launched a new, interactive e-guide that will make it easy for women of all ages, throughout New Zealand, to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and how they can reduce their risk of dying of the disease.
With Breast Cancer Action Month ending today, the NZBCF wants to maintain the momentum and increased awareness generated by the Our Women campaign. More than 750,000 people have viewed the Our Women music video, fronted by terminal cancer patient Helena McAlpine and available at www.ourwomen.co.nz , but the Foundation still hopes to reach every woman in the country with its message about the importance of being breast aware.
The NZBCF believes the self-education guide is the first of its kind in Australasia. Developed alongside NZ e-learning company, Wavelength, the guide graphically illustrates unusual breast symptoms, outlines breast cancer risk factors and shows a video of a mammogram. Feedback from women who trialled the tool was overwhelmingly positive.
"We wanted to develop an informative, interactive digital resource that could be accessed at home or from mobile devices by busy women and men anywhere, any time," said NZ Breast Cancer Foundation chief executive Van Henderson. “In particular, we’re hoping this guide will be of value to at-risk women and those less likely to come across printed material about breast cancer, for example at their doctor’s surgery. These include Maori and Pacific Island women, younger women and women living remotely.”
Recent research commissioned by the NZBCF and undertaken by Colmar Brunton revealed that two-thirds of women aged 20-39 don’t know that breast cancer is the most common cancer for women their age, and few are aware of breast cancer symptoms other than a lump. Seventy percent of women aged 40-44 have not yet had a mammogram (the Foundation recommends annual mammograms from 40), and most of those that have had a mammogram waited until they found a lump. This year, 370 women will likely be diagnosed with breast cancer below the free screening age of 45 – that’s one woman a day. Because cancers in younger women can be more aggressive than in older women, early diagnosis can be vital to survival.
The new breast cancer e-guide stresses the importance of women seeing their doctor if they have any worrying signs or symptoms, plus the importance of having mammograms from age 40.
The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is the country’s foremost breast cancer education and awareness organisation. It is a non-government funded charitable trust promoting awareness of breast cancer, providing information and education, and raising funds to support breast cancer related initiatives including research, scholarships, medical grants, community outreach and breast cancer patient registers.