Delaying breast cancer surgery for a tv appearance

I was saddened to hear that the beautiful and vibrant Kerri-Anne Kennerley recently found a small pea-sized lump in her breast which has been diagnosed as breast cancer.  This disease does not discriminate and too many women are diagnosed each year.

As upsetting as I found the news of the diagnosis itself, I was horrified to hear that KAK has delayed her surgery to appear on the finale of Dancing With The Stars.  I think this sends the wrong message – in a BIG way.

I’ve been an advocate for women to self-examine for a long time after losing my mum to Breast Cancer when I was 6, and my ‘second mum’ to it in November last year.  It is a horrible illness that is often discovered too late.

Could they have not simply said that her surgery was scheduled for next week?  The implied message that this can be delayed for social reasons tells people that it is ok to ‘put it off’ until it suits your schedule.

I’m here to tell you NOT to put it off.  Go and have a mammogram today, keep regular appointments after you reach 40 and be aware of how to self-examine.  I’ve written about that before, read it here.  It’s simple and may just save your life.  The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that 2800 women die every year from the illness, and there are nearly 14,000 new diagnoses every year.  Early detection is still the best method for reducing deaths, which is why it’s vital that we all understand how to examine for abnormalities.

When Kylie Minogue was diagnosed in May 2005 the number of women who booked in for mammograms was unprecedented.  If just one of those women was diagnosed early due to the stars’ open discussions about Breast Cancer, then the media coverage was well worth it.  Kylie had a tough battle on her hands and I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that was for her, but she spoke about the importance of understanding your body and keeping regular doctors appointments.  This made a difference and women listened.

On the flip side, if just one woman prolongs booking in an appointment due to hearing of KAK’s delay for treatment due to a television appearance, aren’t we sending the wrong message?

Please don’t delay.  Learn how to self-examine and if you’re over 40, book in for a mammogram today.  You’re worth it and delaying it won’t achieve anything.

 

  1. BossyMummy
    June 12, 2012 | 11:00 am

    Well written and totally agree. We can’t have people thinking they don’t have to act quickly with things. Most breast cancers have a good survival rate – providing there is early identification AND treatment.

    • workingwomenaustralia
      June 14, 2012 | 1:55 pm

      I agree BossyMummy. Timing really is critical in many cases.

  2. Jess@diaryofasahm.net
    June 12, 2012 | 8:38 pm

    Oh that’s a bit silly. You’re right they should have said it was scheduled for later. When you’re in the public eye, you have a Responsibilty to the public.
    Jess@diaryofasahm.net recently posted..Diary of a SAHM does One DirectionMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      June 14, 2012 | 1:56 pm

      That’s it Jess, there’s no doubt her Doctors are all over this and the delay makes no difference to her treatment. It’s simply how it’s been reported that is poor form IMO.

  3. Lyndal
    June 12, 2012 | 8:51 pm

    oh. that is so disappointing – why would they honestly say that she ‘delayed’ her surgery and for that reason! Surely it is saying if a celeb can delay it because of a tv appearance, a lot of women will rationalise all the reasons which they can delay getting screened etc!
    Lyndal recently posted..torch the moonMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      June 14, 2012 | 1:57 pm

      That’s what I was thinking Lyndal. As a busy working mum, I know how many things I ‘put off’ until I have time. There are simply some things you shouldn’t delay.

  4. Denyse Whelan Education Specialist
    June 12, 2012 | 10:16 pm

    I am so very sorry for the awful losses you have experienced personally …please accept my sincere condolences.. Kim you must have been rightly blown away when you read this about KAK
    All I can say, as ‘kindly’ as possible….”vanity thy name is woman” ..but not all of us. I could NEVER envisage being so….ummm ? insert own word.
    I’m here from #TeamIbot
    Denyse x

    • workingwomenaustralia
      June 14, 2012 | 1:57 pm

      Thanks Denyse xx

  5. Carly
    June 12, 2012 | 10:16 pm

    Well written. I really like that you did not attack KAK but instead questioned the integrity of the real one at fault ‘the media’.
    I could not agree with this post more x

    From a newbie visitor thanks to #IBOT
    Carly recently posted..Expat Files #2 – A lawn mower reduced me to tearsMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      June 14, 2012 | 1:58 pm

      I was concerned that it would come off as a slight on KAK but it’s honestly not intended to be. It’s all about how this story has been reported. She has enough on her plate than to deal with another armchair expert like me telling her how to live her life ;)

  6. Trish
    June 22, 2012 | 10:15 pm

    I worried about the message the media was sending too. I was so terrified I didn’t want to wait another day. I am still terrified beyond measure even with double mastectomy , my nodes weren’t clear and I face chemotherapy …in a way a relief , i dont know , i do know it is to give me best possible outcome.

    I have no hesitations talking about my journey , just beginning, because I think if it prompts one woman to do something because she has concerns , it is worth it. I do feel self conscious though and I have miles to go in being comfortable with the changes it is going to bring.

    There are many reasons women do delay surgery and treatment though , that is often related to Drs best judgement , as you said not for us to judge.

    Not so much in KAK situation but the public health system discriminates and some people have no choice about waiting …sorry off the topic.
    Trish recently posted..Thankful updateMy Profile

  7. Trish
    June 22, 2012 | 10:16 pm

    I worried about the message the media was sending too. I was so terrified I didn’t want to wait another day. I am still terrified beyond measure even with double mastectomy , my nodes weren’t clear and I face chemotherapy …in a way a relief , i dont know , i do know it is to give me best possible outcome.

    I have hesitations talking about my journey , just beginning, but because I think if it prompts one woman to do something because she has concerns , it is worth it. I do feel self conscious though and I have miles to go in being comfortable with the changes it is going to bring.

    There are many reasons women do delay surgery and treatment though , that is often related to Drs best judgement , as you said not for us to judge.

    Not so much in KAK situation but the public health system discriminates and some people have no choice about waiting …sorry off the topic.
    Trish recently posted..Thankful updateMy Profile

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