My name is Aunty Margaret Lawton, known as Aunty Margaret in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community. Um, I was diagnosed, first of all, in my right breast in 2008. I thought, ‘Okay, in reality this is the C word. I can fight it or it can take my life’. After that I was diagnosed in ah 2012. Was told I was looking at a mastectomy and um possibly reconstruction. Oh, God knows how, but I’m lucky enough to still have both of my breasts. And in my dialect I call these my yammans.
It is essential to send out an important message to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people um how important it is to um early detection. Keeping those mammograms up to date. Make no excuse, it’s your life. And the best way of detecting it is by attending those breast screenings.
It’s really, really important that, you know, we’ve got to start saving our women instead of being diagnosed with cancer. We’ve got the resources out there, with the breast screening team, but keep your mammograms up every 2 years. Ring the breast screening people up and book your appointment. Make sure you go. Always take somebody you know, and if you don’t, there’s always somebody in the hospitals, or somewhere in your community, in the health centre, that can go along and support you.
Aunty Margaret talks about the importance of detecting breast cancer early through the BreastScreen Australia Program. She encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to book their test and to take a friend or family member with them for support.