Director Integrated Care, Allied Health and Community Services Jill Wong, Alison Morris with the painting she created especially to tell a story for Aboriginal women, Aboriginal Health Worker Christa Smith, McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse Kelly Scott-McGrath, Durri Aboriginal Medical Service nurse/midwife Cathy Turnbull and Director Aboriginal Health and Primary Partnerships Robyn Martin.

Breast cancer yarn up strengthens connections

Nov 29, 2023

A Breast Cancer Yarn Up at Kempsey District Hospital shared breast health education with Aboriginal community members, which is essential in helping in early detection.

Aboriginal Health Worker Christa Smith from the Mid North Coast Local Health District and community medical services met with community members to discuss available breast cancer and health services and listen to feedback on what can be done.

McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse Kelly Scott-McGrath gave a presentation on breast cancer, self-checks, symptoms, risk factors, the importance of regular screening to detect breast cancer early, and healthy lifestyles.

“A key message was if you grow them, know them,” Ms Scott McGrath said.

“Get to know what normal feels like for your breasts so that you can understand any changes and seek further help. Women need to do regular self-checks and stay up to date with breast screening by getting a free mammogram every two years from the age of 50-74, or the age of 40 for Aboriginal women.”

Director of Integrated Care, Allied Health and Community Services Jill Wong attended the Yarn Up and thanked the gathering for sharing their stories.

“It’s important to come together to learn, share knowledge and take information back to share with family and friends,” Ms Wong said.

Ms Smith said the event also discussed services available in the community, consultations around breast cancer and referral pathways.

“Sharing information on early detection of breast cancer means better health outcomes for our community,” Ms Smith said.

The collaboration across the health district’s directorates was a great example of working in partnership to improve the connection between the health service and Aboriginal community members.

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