Think pink during breast cancer awareness month

TAKE a look at the faces of the women who work at the Lismore headquarters of of BreastScreen NSW North Coast.

Cancer Council statistics show one woman from this group of eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.

Of course, the statistics don't just apply to these women, but to women across Australia from all backgrounds and social groups.

Jane Walsh, director of BreastScreen NSW North Coast since February, said her team screened up to 28 women a day for breast cancer.

Most of the time her patients walk away with a clean bill of health and no need to return for another screening for two years.

Mrs Walsh said the challenging aspect of the job came when women were given less favourable news. “Women have very individual responses to a diagnosis, but it is a very emotional time,” she said.

“But I get a lot of satisfaction from my job because I think we provide a very good service. We offer a service to well women that provides a lot of benefits and has a preventative function.”

If a woman is found to have breast cancer, the team at BreastScreen ensure she has the support of a friend or family member, they discuss treatment options and liaise with surgeons and other medical professionals.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Monday is Pink Ribbon Day.

A pink morning tea is being held tomorrow morning at South Lismore to raise money for the Cancer Council. For details call 6622 2891.

Getting abreast with cancer
  • Last year, from January to December, more than 20,000 women were screened from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie with BreastScreen NSW.
  • Across NSW in 2005, which is the most recent statistics, 4035 new cases of breast cancer were detected among women, representing 27.1% of all cancers in females in the State.
  • From 1996 to 2005, deaths from breast cancer fell by 18%, due largely to the introduction of mammograms and more effective treatment.
  • Early detection is vital. BreastScreen NSW actively targets women aged 50-69, as age and being female are the two biggest factors in developing breast cancer.
  • Women outside of this age bracket are not excluded.
  • Every two years you should get a mammogram unless you have been advised otherwise by a radiologist.
  • BreastScreen NSW North Coast is at 29 Uralba Street, Lismore. Call 13 20 50.

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