Cancers survivors encouraged to tell their stories
Speaking up and sharing your story could be the push your friend, workmate or neighbour needs to stop putting off getting a potential cancer symptom checked – it could quite literally save their life.
This article was written by Stuart McGuckin and was published by Sound Telegraph on 30 March 2019
Cancer Council WA is asking people aged over 40 to share stories about their experiences with cancer in order to encourage others to notice early symptoms.
Australind’s David Bolt has shared his story about how he had 10 potentially cancerous moles removed.
“They weren’t all melanomas, but the last four were,” he said.
“My doctors have told me as a red-headed farmer I was the perfect candidate and I just had to be real about it.
“When I was a kid I probably got sunburnt a lot, in later years I always wore hats, but I couldn’t stand working in long sleeves and now whenever I go to beach I make sure I cover up.”
The 73-year-old said he wanted to tell his story in order to encourage others to go and see their doctors to get things checked.
“I’ve gone 12 months without having to have anything done, but once they found my first melanomas I was visiting the doctor every three months,” he said.
“I think it’s important to encourage people because most blokes are scared to go to the doctor.”
It has been more than 20 years since the former Corrigin farmer first discovered troublesome spots on the back of his legs.
“Even then I still didn’t take a lot of notice,” he said. “My wife has been good at checking my body and telling me if she didn’t like the look of anything.”
Cancer Council WA South West regional education officer Shenae Norris said the organisation’s Find Cancer Early campaign was using powerful personal stories to get the message across.
“Speaking up and sharing your story could be the push your friend, workmate or neighbour needs to stop putting off getting a potential cancer symptom checked – it could quite literally save their life,” Ms Norris said.
Visit the new Find Cancer Early website to share your story.