Good breast health is in your hands
Stay abreast of good health this October
BREAST health nurses are pleading for women of the southwest to better learn their bodies.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and local nurses are joining in on the fight, asking women to make sure they know what they grow.
“IF YOU grow them, you should know them.”
That’s the message from the southwest’s resident McGrath Foundation breast care nurse, Lisa Bowman. She is one of 135 stationed in communities across the country.
“How the foundation was set up was that it was identified that a specialised breast care nurse made such a difference to Jane (McGrath)’s journey, to have someone help you navigate your way though it,” she said.
Servicing women from Roma district west to Quilpie and Eromanga, Charleville south to Cunnamulla, Ms Bowman estimates she works with 35 women, but knows there are probably more in the area.
With current statistics suggesting 53 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every day this year, about 19,371 women and 164 men are estimated to receive a diagnosis each year.
“No two days are the same. It can be taking phone calls or ringing people and just following progress and what they’re up to. It’s about general support, just being an advocate for the people and giving them information,” she said.
“I help them co-ordinate the services they need, maybe put referrals in place for them. It’s a lot of jobs rolled into one but sometimes it is just listening.”
Part of Ms Bowman’s job is also raising awareness.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it serves as a reminder of the importance of early detection of the most common cancer diagnosed in Queensland women.
According to Cancer Council Queensland, one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease, and one in 41 will die as a result.
“Women should consult their GP if they notice a persistent lump, lumpiness or thickening of the breast,” CEO Chris McMillan said.
“If they notice changes to the nipple or discharge, any change to the shape, feel, size or colour of the breast, dimpling, puckering or any unusual breast pain.”
If you or someone you know has breast cancer and is looking for extra support, visit the McGrath Foundation website.
BREAST AWARE: Lisa Bowman is the southwest’s McGrath breast care nurse.