Screening a key tool in saving lives

Daryna ZadvirnaNarrogin Observer
Sherryl Chilcott and her husband Norm after finishing a 35km walk for women’s cancer, 5 days after she received a clearance from her surgeon.
Camera IconSherryl Chilcott and her husband Norm after finishing a 35km walk for women’s cancer, 5 days after she received a clearance from her surgeon.

Today marks the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Cancer Council WA and a local survivor are reminding women to be aware and get regular screenings.

Cancer Council WA’s Wheatbelt regional education officer Melissa Pickering encourages all womento get screened when they are eligible.

“Being breast aware and knowing what to look for could help find breast cancer early and increase the chance of successful treatment,” she said.

“Everyone’s breasts are different. It is important that you get to know what your breasts look and feel like, so you know what is normal for you.”

Narrogin Observer branch manager and Wagin resident Sherryl Chilcott was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ this year.

It is considered the earliest form of breast cancer.

She had a screening about a year ago and said it had likely saved her life.

“I remember sitting there, waiting for three quarters of an hour, because they (the BreastScreen WA van) were running late and I nearly drove away,” she said.

“My doctor said if I hadn’t had that screening, we’d be having an entirely different conversation.”

Mrs Chilcott, who was recently given a clearance from her surgeon and radiologist, said she wanted to share her experience to remind women how important it was to have health checks and be breast aware.

“The scary thing is, I didn’t have a lump, I didn’t feel sick, I had absolutely no clue,” she said.

“So these checks are there for a reason, they save lives,” she said.

Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among WA women and second highest cause of cancer death.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicts more than 19,000 people in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

Ms Pickering said the BreastScreen WA van was travelling around the State and would be in Narrogin from January 2-10 next year.

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