Last night, ACON launched a breast health awareness campaign for lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women, who are under-screened for breast cancer despite being a higher-risk population.
The #TalkTouchTest campaign takes an empowering approach to existing breast cancer awareness messaging, aiming to speak directly to LBQ women to encourage self-examination for younger women, and screening among women 50 – 74 years of age.
An initiative of ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention and LGBTI* health organisation, the campaign speaks to LBQ women, a population who, despite having elevated risks for breast cancer, are not the focus of traditional breast awareness campaigns.
“LBQ women have been identified as an under screened and high risk population for breast cancer. Research has indicated that this may be due to a several factors including higher smoking and risk-drinking rates, lower use of oral contraceptives and more.” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, with 1 in 8 women diagnosed by their 85th birthday, meaning 42 Australian women find out they have breast cancer every day. Very sadly, on average, 7 women die from breast cancer each day.
“The goals of #TalkTouchTest are to raise awareness of breast health, increase the number of LBQ women over 40 (especially those aged between 50 and 74) accessing screening services, and to encourage all LBQ women, regardless of age, to make breast health checks a lifelong habit.”
With initial funding from the Aurora Group and support from Dykes on Bikes and Sydney Local Health District’s BreastScreen service, ACON piloted the campaign during the 2016 Mardi Gras festival. The #TalkTouchTest campaign was officially launched with the support of the City of Sydney last night in Erskineville, Sydney.
“At the heart of #TalkTouchTest is community. Whether it is community sporting, arts-based or social groups, women in relationships, or ‘breast-friends’, we want women to encourage each other to talk, touch and test for better breast health.”
“We are very grateful to the wonderful women who helped us launch the campaign. ACON would like to thank Beccy Cole, Gretel Killeen, Jean Kittson, Dr Kerryn Phelps, Dykes on Bikes President Manda Hatter, ex-Australian cricketer Julia Price and well-loved community performer Denise Hanlon.
“#TalkTouchTest is based on ACON’s broader experience of peer based interventions and messaging, which we know from experience has the ability to reach our communities where mainstream messaging has not.”
Mr Parkhill concluded “This is an incredibly important step for ACON. In addition to our mental health, drug and alcohol, family and domestic violence and other work with women, this new campaign will see us engaging with a diverse range of women to promote better breast health. So far, over 200 women have gotten involved and I want to personally thank them, along with the team at the NSW Cancer Institute for their technical support.”
To find out more about the #TalkTouchTest campaign, visit www.acon.org.au/talktouchtest
*LGBTI – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex
For more information please contact:
David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications Officer
E: email@example.com T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 M: +61 (0)428 477 042