Breast screen, awareness vital
Everyone’s breasts are different. It is important that you get to know what your breasts look and feel like, so you know what is normal for you.
This article was written by Daryna Zadvirna and published in the Great Southern Herald on 31 October 2019.
With today marking the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Council WA and a local survivor are reminding women to be breast aware and get regular screenings.
Cancer Council WA’s Wheatbelt regional education officer Melissa Pickering has encouraged all women to get a breast screening when they are eligible.
“Being breast aware and knowing what to look for could help find breast cancer early and increase the chance of successful treatment,” she said.
“Everyone’s breasts are different. It is important that you get to know what your breasts look and feel like, so you know what is normal for you.”
Narrogin Observer branch manager and Wagin local, Sherryl Chilcott, was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ earlier this year, which is considered the earliest form of breast cancer.
She had a screening about one year ago and said it had likely saved her life.
“I remember sitting there waiting for three quarters of an hour because they (the BreastScreen WA van) were running late and I nearly drove away,” she said.
“My doctor said if I hadn’t had that screening, we’d be having an entirely different conversation.”
Mrs Chilcott, who was recently given a clearance from her surgeon and radiologist, said she wanted to share her experience to remind women how important it was to have health checks and be aware.
“The scary thing is, I didn’t have a lump, I didn’t feel sick, I hadn’t a clue,” she said. “So these checks are there for a reason, they save lives.”
Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among WA women and the second highest cause of cancer death.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicts more than 19,000 people in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
The BreastScreen WA van is travelling around WA and will be in Narrogin from January 2-10 next year.