KAK's bad news may do good

FIRST it was the Kylie effect. Next it could be the Kerri-Anne effect.

Television personality Kerri-Anne Kennerly's announcement that she has breast cancer could boost the number of women seeking breast screening, similar to that which followed Kylie Minogue's breast cancer diagnosis in 2005.

BreastScreen Queensland Sunshine Coast medical director Doctor Deborah Pfeiffer said news of a celebrity with cancer often spurred women into breast screens.

Dr Pfeiffer's observation was supported by Professor John Lowe, head of the school of health and sport sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

"There's a lot of data that says that any time a high profile person, be it man or woman, is diagnosed with cancer, there's an increase in screening rates," Prof Lowe said.

While Ms Minogue's diagnosis was followed by an increase in young women seeking mammograms, Dr Pfeiffer said Ms Kennerly, 58, was in an age group where women should already be having routine two-yearly screenings.

Dr Pfeiffer urged anyone with symptoms of breast cancer to contact their general practitioner fighting breast cancer

75% of breast cancers occur in women over 50 Women aged 40 and over should have their breasts screened every two years.

Breast Screen Queensland has screening services at Gympie, Noosa, Nambour, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Caboolture. Call 13 2050.

Topics:  breast cancer, breastscreen, cancer, health, kerri-anne kennerly



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