Cancer doesn‘t wait—so get checked
GV Health staff donned their brightest shade of pink on Wednesday to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer.
More than 20,000 Australians will be diagnosed with the disease this year alone — or about 55 people every day.
It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, and while five-year survival rates have increased to 91 per cent, there is still progress to be made.
Goulburn Valley Health breast and gynaecological cancer support nurse Melissa Gilmour said while early detection saved lives, a lot of people were delaying getting checked.
“The biggest thing really is to continue to do your monthly checks and if you‘re concerned, to go to your GP and get checked,” she said.
“Even though we‘re in COVID times, it‘s still really important to do that. Doctors will have the investigations done and breast screen are still doing mammograms and ultrasounds so don‘t delay having a breast screen done.
“The reality is cancer is still being treated and just because you ignore it, doesn‘t mean it will go away.”
The incidence of breast cancer is increasing — with one in seven Australian women and about one in 700 Australian men expected to be diagnosed in their lifetime.
“Be your own advocate,” Ms Gilmour said.
“If you‘ve got a gut instinct saying something‘s not right, then go and see somebody else until you get the result that you want.
“And the reality is that a lot of people have done that and got a result early on, and it‘s lucky they did that.
“It doesn‘t discriminate between young and old. We‘ve seen a lot of young people come in lately but the good thing is, they caught it early because they‘re doing their checks and doing all the right things.”