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National Breast Density Research – Community Advisory Group

About the project
Researchers at the University of Western Australia, together with researchers and clinicians from across Australia, are developing evidence on how to best use breast density to aid in the early detection of breast cancer and improve breast cancer outcomes for Australian women.

Breasts are made up of glands that make and drain milk (often called glandular tissue), fibrous connective tissue and fatty tissue. Breast density refers to the amount of glandular and connective tissue and cannot be determined by feel or touch.

High breast density means that there is a lot of fibrous connective tissue and less fatty tissue around the glands in the breasts. Low breast density means there is a greater amount of fatty tissue in the breasts. Breast density appears white on a mammogram whereas fatty tissue appears dark. Cancers also appear white on a mammogram which means it is harder to detect cancers on mammograms of dense breasts.

The researchers have a range of projects that hope to understand why some women have higher density than others, why breast density is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, how best to measure and track changes in breast density, when and how to advise women of their breast density, and what is the best approach to screening in women with high breast density.

About the position
Researchers at the University of Western Australia together with researchers from across Australia, would like to find new members to join their community advisory group of 8-12 women to advise on a number of research projects that they are undertaking.

The researchers value hearing from women from all states and territories, of varying ages, and from a range of cultures and backgrounds.

What am I expected to do?
• Provide input towards the development and conduct of research projects investigating breast density and/or breast cancer screening outcomes
• Assist with communicating findings from the research to the wider community
• Provide input into a website about breast density designed to bridge gaps between scientists and women who attend breast cancer screening.

What experience do I need?

  • You need to be a female between the ages of 40 and 74. You may have had personal experience with having a mammogram to screen for breast cancer (in either the public or private setting) but this is optional.
  • Knowledge of the health system, in particular screening programs or breast cancer diagnosis/treatment, would be beneficial.
  • Committee experience is preferred but not essential, however it is vital that you are able to consider differing opinions in regards to health policy.
  • Strong community links.

How long am I expected to be involved?
Appointments are for 1-2 years with the possibility of extension.

Where will meetings be held?
Four meetings will be held per year; Currently all are held via teleconference/videoconference due to COVID-19 . In the future there may be an opportunity for an annual face-to-face meeting in Perth (airfares and accommodation would be provided for members from other states or regional WA).

What support is offered?
$35 per hour honorarium is paid. Training and support is offered by the Consumer and Community Involvement Program

Apply: Complete a short application form here