“Many women ignore the BreastScreen Australia invitation when it arrives in the mail. They often think that breast cancer won’t happen to them. But breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone.
90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a family history.
Go and get screened. Don’t leave it. BreastScreen Australia is a free service; so there is no reason why women shouldn’t participate,”
Margarette Fisher, a Ngarrindjeri woman who lives in Perth, has facilitated a small cancer support group for the past four years.
See below links for Breastscreen materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Alongside facilitating the group, she is a specialist coordinator at Derbarl Yerrigan Health Centre and has been in the Aboriginal health industry for many years. She has seen first-hand the effects that breast cancer has had on her family, group members, and the community.
Margarette explains that early detection is so important because breast cancer affects not only the family involved, but the whole community.
“That’s why it’s good to catch it early instead of leaving it too late. The heart ache it causes. When we’ve lost someone we know, the whole community feels it. It’s a big thing.”
Margarette encourages women to get regular breast screens every two years because they can pick up abnormalities before people can feel them or notice any symptoms.
“I think even if you feel healthy and don’t show signs, you should get checked out just to be on the safe side.”
The BreastScreen van travels to communities and various locations, including Derbarl Yerrigan, every two years. Margarette says that some women get shame or feel uncomfortable about getting their breasts screened but afterwards are happy to have done their mammogram.
“If you’re feeling a little bit stressed or uncomfortable you can always bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment,” says Margarette.
After their mammogram I’ll ask them “was it that bad?” and they say “oh no I don’t know what I got all stressed about.” And when you say to them “so will you come back in a couple of years?” They say, “yeah, we’ll be back.”
“Many women ignore the BreastScreen Australia invitation when it arrives in the mail. They often think that breast cancer won’t happen to them. But breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone. 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a family history. Go and get screened. Don’t leave it.”
“BreastScreen Australia is a free service; so there is no reason why women shouldn’t participate,” she says.
BreastScreen Australia invites all women aged 50 to 74 for free breast screening. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women can get a free BreastScreen test every two years, which is the best way to detect breast cancer early.
Call 13 20 50 and make an appointment at your nearest BreastScreen Australia clinic, or visit one of the mobile clinics when it comes to your community.
Materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Print ad
- Radio ad
- Case Studies – Personal Stories
- Podcasts – Audio plays
- Podcasts – Audio Segments
- Podcasts – Case studies
- Resources translated into Arrernte
- Resources translated into TSI Creole
- Resources translated into Warlpiri
- Resources translated into Pitjantjatjara
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