Women unite on breast questions

By RENEE REDMOND

THIRTY women from across the region came together in Ballina on Saturday in the hope of learning more about the one thing they all have in common ? breast cancer.

Survivors Heather Wagenvoord, of Lismore, and Robyn Carlill, of Kyogle, joined newly-diagnosed Bev Cooper, of Ballina, for the annual NSW Breast Cancer Institute live satellite broadcast from Westmead Hospital in Sydney.

The broadcast goes to rural and metropolitan areas across Australia and gives women the chance to ask questions from a panel of experts.

The experts speak about clinical trials and new treatments which are on the way.

Robyn Carlill was last diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and said she wanted to know more about the latest hormone treatments and their side effects.

"Women in the country don't have the opportunity to hear about the latest research and development with breast cancer research," she said.

"Breast cancer is not cut and dry, all women are different, so it is important to be updated on what our options for treatment are.

"Local groups were also discussed as part of the forum so women know where they can go for support."

Ms Carlill was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and two years after intensive treatment, the cancer came back.

"Every woman wants to know the same thing ? why did it happen to me? If we knew what was causing us to have breast cancer, I think it would be much more settling," she said.

"With the way research is headed, I think they'll have an answer for us one day."

Ms Carlill is part of a support group of about 20 women going through various stages of breast cancer.

The group meets tomorrow at Goody's Cafe in Kyogle at 10am.



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