THINK PINK: St George Breast Care Nurse Lana Russell lends a helping hand during the breast cancer journeys of the Balonne Shire.
THINK PINK: St George Breast Care Nurse Lana Russell lends a helping hand during the breast cancer journeys of the Balonne Shire. Ellen Ransley

Keep abreast of good health: a message for October

WHLE every month should be a month women give themselves a breast exam, October is as good a time as any to promote the importance of breast health.

The Balonne Shire's dedicated breast care nurse Lana Russell said while the bulk of her job meant being a local layer of ongoing care and support for women diagnosed with breast cancer, she also worked hard to promote awareness.

"No two days are the same in my job. Really, it's just about providing care and support for people diagnosed with breast cancer, so I work as part of the team that looks after them in a tertiary centre, whether that be in Toowoomba or Brisbane,” she said.

"That might be anything from wound care, helping people organise appointments, access financial assistance, or it might just be checking in on them and seeing how they and their families are holding up.”

According to the McGrath Foundation, it is estimated that 53 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every day this year.

By the end of the year, 19,371 women and 164 men will have received that diagnosis.

One in seven women will be diagnosed by the time they turn 85.

"In this region, it is quite prevalent, no more than anywhere else but certainly there hasn't been a year where I've had no new people to look after.”

Later this month, the annual pink ladies morning tea will once again take place at Stevie Jeans.

"Every month women should be breast aware but this is a month where we can put on a few extra functions and promote awareness,” she said.

"The morning tea on October 30 will be a chance to do that.”

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, call St George Hospital and ask for Lana Russell.


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