It’s that time of year again – Cancer Council Queensland is encouraging women to harness the power of their friendship to make a difference and raise awareness of women’s cancer through our Girls’ Night In campaign.
Simply by registering to host an event at girlsnightin.com.au, getting together with friends and donating what you would have spent on a night out you can help us support more than 4180 women are diagnosed with a breast and gynaecological cancer each year.
Events can be as big or as small as you would like – you can host a pamper party, clothes swap, cooking night or games night. It is a fun, simple way to make a difference.
It also a good opportunity for women to take time out and talk about their health with each other.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, just half of Queensland women participate in all the free, national cancer screening programs.
Only 56 per cent of eligible women get mammograms at BreastScreen clinics in Queensland, while only 53 per cent of women participate in the Cervical Screening Program.
Shockingly, as little as 40 per cent of eligible women participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
This means only half of our friends and family – half of the women we love – are not getting screened for these cancers.
We know that these national screening programs are the best way to detect cancer early, and when cancer is detected earlier, the chance of survival increases.
This is why it’s vital we encourage the women in our lives to prioritise participating in cancer screening programs.
Host a Girls’ Night In event this October or November, so we can remind our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to get screened.
Women aged 25-74 are eligible to take part in a five-yearly Cervical Screening Test, for which they are eligible for after turning 25 or two years after their last Pap test.
When it comes to breast cancer screening, women aged 50-74 should have a mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Queensland, while the National Bowel Cancer Screening program currently invites women turning 50, 54, 55, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74 to screen via an easy to use screening kit that can be completed at home.
We can also encourage each other to remain SunSmart, quit or avoid smoking, limit alcohol consumption, follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines to maintain a healthy weight and remain physically active to further lower our cancer risk, and visit our GPs when we notice changes in our bodies.
A Girls’ Night In is an opportunity to catch up, raise funds and save lives. Whose life will you save?
CEO, Cancer Council Queensland