People across the Hunter are being urged to get to know their bodies and learn to spot the signs of breast cancer.
With the state’s COVID-19 outbreak continuing to grow, BreastScreen NSW services have been put on hold to allow nursing staff to be redirected towards managing the crisis.
It’s raised concern among health experts and advocacy groups, who fear the absence of the free service will mean breast cancer cases won’t be picked up in time.
Breast Cancer Network Australia warns the temporary closure is not an excuse to ignore symptoms and it’s important to have any concerns checked over by a GP while BreastScreen is out of action.
McGrath Foundation Clinical Lead Kerry Patford says it’s important for both men and women to understand the signs of breast cancers, so they can book in with their GP as soon as they spot something concerning.
“We encourage people to look at their breasts every time they get in and out of the shower,” said Ms Patford.
“Put your arms above your head and have a look and feel what your breasts are like for yourself.”
Kerry Patford says if you have any concerning lumps it’s important to look for changes in shape, colour and size as well as any unexpected rashes or skin irritations.
“People still have options if they find that they are concerned about their breast health,”
“I know that it’s a really scary time for people but being able to leave your home to visit your GP is a safe and legitimate thing to do.”