Margaret Foster (left)  and Therese Dunn,   co-ordinators of the Lismore Breast Cancer Support Group.
Margaret Foster (left) and Therese Dunn, co-ordinators of the Lismore Breast Cancer Support Group. The Northern Star/Jacklyn Wagner

Support team helping to fight cancer blues

THERESE Dunn of Wollongbar has fought a three-year battle against breast cancer.

While chemotherapy treatment has fought cancer cells, Ms Dunn has had to fight the depression that came with the disease – a much less talked about side-effect of breast cancer.

“I was diagnosed a few days after my 40th birthday and just went into panic mode.

“I didn’t really know what it would mean for me and the panic soon turned to depression,” she said.

More than 50 per cent of breast cancer survivors report that they have been affected by depression or anxiety after their breast cancer diagnosis.

Yesterday, Breast Cancer Network Australia and beyondblue launched a fact sheet about mental health issues associated with cancer.

Ms Dunn, who also helps organise monthly meetings, said the best way to deal with depression was ‘to just be honest and talk about it’.

Margaret Foster of Goolmangar also helps organise the monthly meetings, and said while depression wasn’t often talked about it was common and women can be helped to feel comfortable talking about it.


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