AUSTRALIA’S ‘bubbly’ trend has made the nation’s health system more receptive to breast cancer treatments, and the government is looking to increase the number of women seeking mammograms to reduce costs.
Key points:Women are using cosmetics to highlight signs of cancer in their breasts, and have been found to have better survival rates, a study saysThe government is testing the effectiveness of cosmetics on breast cancer patientsA survey has found women are using makeup to highlight their signs of breast cancer, which may lead to better survival rate.
Key items:A new study has found a women’s cosmetics store in the city of Sydney is popular with patients, with more than 1,000 women using the cosmetics store as part of their breast cancer screening.
“It’s quite common in the community to have a store in a busy place like the city centre and it’s quite popular because of the social stigma associated with breast cancer,” said Dr Susan Pomeroy, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Sydney.
“We’ve seen this in other settings around Australia as well.”
Women often visit the cosmetics department at a local shopping centre to check on the progress of their treatment and for advice on cosmetics, she said.
“A lot of these women are looking for the first time, and they’re really looking for guidance,” she said, adding women often come in to try the products because they are concerned they may have more aggressive cancers.
“They’re trying to help their breast as much as they can and hopefully they’ll get the best outcomes from their treatments.”
Research by the Sydney Breast Cancer Trust found that, of the 631 women in its study, 67 per cent had received a diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer, and more than a third had received chemotherapy or radiation.
The Trust’s research, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, found that the use of cosmetics by women in Australia had increased from just 3 per cent in 2016 to 5 per cent last year.
“This is a really positive development because it’s encouraging that there are more women who are willing to be transparent about their care,” Dr Pomeroys said.’
I’m not afraid’Dr Pomerions findings echoed those of Dr Michael Fagan, a clinical nurse-midwife and lecturer at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
“I’m very encouraged by this,” Dr Fagan said.”[It’s] a great example of the positive impact cosmetics can have on patients.”
Dr Fagan and Dr Pomors study found that women who were tested positive for breast cancer had a better survival and prognosis than women who had not been tested.
“The more they get tested for, the better they’re going to be,” he said.
Dr Pomoroy said she was encouraged by the study results, but she was concerned about cosmetics being used in a way that was not in line with what was being taught in schools.
“If they’re being shown to be harmful, it’s probably a case of people not being able to accept it because they’re not really aware of the risks,” she added.
Dr Fagans findings are particularly interesting because they were conducted at a hospital, and he said he believed that it would have been helpful to have more women seeking treatment.
“People are being encouraged to have cosmetic procedures in the hospital.
I think that could be an example of how we need to be more careful about what we’re teaching,” he explained.’
We need to educate ourselves’Dr Fagarans findings come as part in a government-led initiative called ‘Makeup Awareness Week’, which is aimed at increasing awareness of cosmetics and breast cancer.
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of breast care, and is part of the Government’s ‘Make Up Awareness Week’ campaign.
“There’s been a huge amount of information about cosmetics, and we need a bit more information to make sure that people have all the information that they need,” Dr Fragan said, pointing to the Government as a major part of making that information more accessible.
“So I think it’s a good opportunity to educate the public about cosmetics and to make the most of the opportunities we have, as opposed to just trying to make people think about what’s really going on with cosmetics.”
Dr Pomeo, a breast cancer patient herself, said she did not feel uncomfortable in wearing makeup in public, but was worried about the potential for contamination.
“When you’re walking into a shop you’re going through the same thing you’re being exposed to, so you need to keep an eye on your surroundings,” she explained.
“Sometimes you may be wearing a bit too much lipstick, and you’ll find out later that you didn’t wash your hands properly.”
The ABC contacted the Sydney Centre for Breast Cancer and Health, but the centre did not reply to our questions.
A spokeswoman for the Sydney Cancer Centre said that they