October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s the month we invite everyone to ‘Pink Up’ to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation to show support for individuals and their families experiencing breast cancer. The funds raised help fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses throughout the country.
Breast health understanding
What does it really mean?
Just being breast aware isn’t enough, women and men need to have good breast health understanding. This means being aware of the importance of breast health, having confidence in recognising changes in your breasts, knowing the risk factors for breast cancer, and learning how to complete your own regular breast check.
Awareness: Being breast aware is about knowing how your breasts look and feel, and knowing what is ‘normal’ for you. While nearly three quarters of Australian women believe they are breast aware, only 16% have the appropriate knowledge and skills. We need to ensure we are talking about breast health with family and friends. The right conversations will help build a new generation of women and men who have greater awareness about their breasts.
Confidence: It’s also important to ensure you‘re confident identifying any physical changes in your breasts that may be an indication of breast cancer. Confidence comes with learning your breasts through regular checks and knowing what to look for.
Knowledge: Knowing the risk factors for breast cancer and equally knowing the myths around the causes of the disease. It may help lead to early diagnosis in you or someone you know.
Behaviour: You should breast check once a month, around the same time in your menstrual cycle, to account for any regular hormonal changes. Self-checking can alert you to changes in your body that should be examined by a medical professional. If breast cancer is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, the survival rates are improved.
During the coronavirus pandemic we have made a few changes to help ensure the health and safety of both our patients and staff at the clinic.
We have installed screens at reception and marked lines on the floor to help encourage our patients to maintain the 1.5m safe distancing. We have installed a doorbell at the main door as so we can control who is coming into the clinic at any time. The clinic has set up a hand sanitiser station at the front door.
We are asking patients on arrival to stay in their car and call to let us know they are here. This allows you to wait in the comfort and safety of your car until the doctor or nurse is ready to see you.
Don’t forget to bring your mobile so we can easily reach you.
We still have a small number of seats spaced in the waiting room for those who are on foot or are required to wait before leaving the practice.
By reducing the number of patients in the waiting room we reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus and other illnesses.
Staff may be wearing a mask when we consult with you. This is to protect our patients and help reduce the risk of transmission.
We are offering telehealth consultations to patients that do not require a face to face appointment or review.
Information On Coronavirus from the Department of Health Victoria
What is coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. The most recently discovered coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness in humans. An outbreak of COVID-19 has spread around the world and has been characterised as a pandemic.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms to watch out for are:
Chills or sweats
Shortness of breath
Loss of sense of smell
In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.
Should I be tested?
If you have symptoms or think you need to be tested
Testing is currently available to people with symptoms (even mild symptoms), and some asymptomatic groups – your doctor will be able to guide you if you qualify
The test is free for everyone.
The test takes around a minute and involves a swab from the back of your throat and nose.
You should return home immediately after the test and remain in self-isolation until you receive your test result.
Staying safe and doing your bit to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
As some of Victoria’s restrictions ease, we still need to stay vigilant. To keep yourself, your friends and your family safe there are three key actions that Victorians are being asked to continue to:
Stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild.
Practise good hygiene – wash your hands and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from anyone you don’t live with.
Stay home if you have symptoms
It is more important than ever to stay home and get tested if you have the symptoms of coronavirus, however mild.
Do not go to work or school.
Do not visit anyone, especially older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Wash your hands
Good hygiene is critical for slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Everyone should be taking the following hygiene actions:
Wash your hands
Wash your hands regularly with for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Wash your hands when you get home, arrive at other people’s homes, at venues or at work.
Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet.
Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands
Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue, then throw it away and wash your hands.
If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Do not share drink bottles, glasses, crockery or cutlery other than with people you live with.
For information see DHHS website:
Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with
Greet people with a smile or wave - don’t shake hands, hug or kiss as a greeting.
Stay 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with.
Avoid crowds, especially indoors.
When waiting in line or walking through busy areas, be patient, give others space so they can give you yours.
Keep eating a balanced diet.
Get regular exercise and sleep.
Reduce your alcohol intake.
If you’re a smoker, think about and try quitting. Call the Quitline on 13 7848.