ARARAT - October is Australia's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, providing a great opportunity to show support for women and families personally affected by breast cancer.
In recognition of this the Ararat Breast Cancer Support Group is hosting their annual morning tea in support of Pink Ribbon Day. The morning tea event will be held at the Ararat Bowling Club on Monday October 22 commencing at 10am.
All community members are welcome to come along, enjoy morning tea and listen to guest speaker Roger Moulton who will talk about his role as Consumer Engagement Advisor working closely with Grampians Integrated Cancer Service (GICS) and he will also provide information on the newly developed Ballarat Regional Intergrated Cancer Centre (BRICC).
East Grampians Health Service breast care nurse Sarah Carter said that breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, with one in nine diagnosed before the age of 85. Over 14,000 women and 105 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Thirty eight Australian women are diagnosed every day and while survival rates are improving - figures show more than 88 per cent of women are surviving five years after diagnosis - there is still some way to go.
"Women can help themselves by having a free mammogram at BreastScreen, to book in call 13 20 50, " she said.
"There is a Breastscreen Service in both Ballarat and Horsham offering free two yearly mammograms to women aged 40 and over without symptoms. "There is no upper age limit, however, the target age group is 50-69 years as 50 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are in this age range."
Mrs Carter highlighted that it is advisable if you do have any concerning symptoms that you see your GP straight away.
In seeking early detection and diagnosis this gives you the best possible chance of a successful outcome.
A Breastscreen Bus runs down to Ballarat for a gold coin donation from both Ararat and Willaura a couple times per year depending on numbers. If you are interested please phone the Ararat Community Centre on 53 529 327 to place your name on the list.
Mrs Carter said that on Tuesday November 20 East Grampians Health Service will be hosting the Look Good Feel Better program.
This free workshop runs a couple of times per year and is for any woman recently diagnosed with cancer, undergoing or about to undergo chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatment for cancer.
Experienced volunteers from the cosmetic and beauty industry are available to show women how to care for their skin and apply make-up to minimise the appearance related side effects of treatment.
Please call the Community Centre on 53 529 327 and speak with Sarah Carter for further information or to register.
The Ararat Breast Cancer Support Group, co-ordinated by Bev Walker and Kaye Fox, offers support to women with breast cancer and their families by providing regular meetings, telephone support, social occasions and practical assistance.
"New members are always welcome to join the group, which meets once per month," Mrs Walker said.
For more information please phone Bev on 5352 1604, Kaye on 5352 1462.