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.