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Know your pair: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

11 October 2018 Blog
Cancer care
October is breast awareness month and a timely reminder to get to “know your pair”. Breast Care Nurse, Rosie Gilllies talks us through why it is important to know your breasts.

My role as the St John of God McGrath breast care is to promote better breast health practice by educating the community on really knowing what is normal for your breasts, women and men alike.

Early detection of breast cancer while it is small and still confined to the breast provides the best chance for effective treatment.

If you understand what your breasts look and feel like you are more likely to detect changes early.

Being aware of breast health, having confidence in recognising change, knowing the risk factors of breast cancer and learning how to complete your own regular breast checks contribute to breast health understanding.
Remember nine out of ten times, changes are not cancer but it is always good to check with your GP.

Mammography is the recommended screening tool for the early detection of breast cancer. Breast screen invites women aged 50-74 to undergo free mammography every 2 years.

Women 40-49 and over 74 years are not sent invites but are still eligible for free mammogram. If an individual is, less than 40 breast health checks are important. If any changes are felt at any age see your GP.

How to perform a breast check.


Every day this year, it is estimated, that 50 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer, 18,235 Australian and 148 Australian men.

As a McGrath breast care nurse I provide emotional psychological and practical support to individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. I can also provide support to family members as well and help people navigate a health system, which can be overwhelming at times from diagnosis throughout treatment.

Importantly no matter where you live in Australia, the service is free and you can self-refer at any stage.

The McGrath Foundation fundraise tirelessly to provide specialist breast care nurses throughout Australia in places of the greatest need.

There are currently 120 breast care nurses Australia wide  funded by generous community support such as ‘pink stumps days’, ‘pull up your socks’, ‘high teas’ or ‘pink up October events’.

The McGrath Foundation would not be able to do what they do without the generous support of community events and corporate sponsors and subsequently have now helped 64,000 families since the 2005.

Further information

For more information please contact

Rosie Gillies

McGrath BCN Consultant

St John of God Bendigo Hospital

Mob: 0412 487 086

Te;: (03) 5434 3160 

St John of God Health Care
Rosemary Gillies - Breast Care Nurse Consultant

Rosemary Gillies is a breast care nurse consultant at St John of God Bendigo Hospital. She has been a nurse for 25 years and has specialised in breast cancer nursing since 2011. Rosemary has been a McGrath Breast Care Nurse since 2014, and has a Graduate Diploma in Breast Cancer Nursing. Her role is to provide support and resources to families experiencing breast cancer diagnosis.