Mount Druitt Hospital nurse shares cancer journey to encourage women to screen
Western Sydney Local Health District has partnered with Westmead Hospital’s Breast Cancer Institute (BCI) to produce a new video, sharing a western Sydney nurse’s cancer journey (and her “lifesaving” mammogram) to reiterate the importance of regular breast screening.
Mount Druitt Hospital emergency department nurse Lourdes Catap was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50, following a routine mammogram at the hospital’s Sunflower Clinic.
She shared her story as part of the new video, noting she “owed her life” to the mammogram and its early detection of cancer cells.
“I feel lucky that the mammogram picked up the cancer so early, I really owe my survival to that test,” she said.
“I still remember the moment I was told I had breast cancer – the ‘cancer’ word just floored me; I remember thinking: ‘how could I possibly have it? I don’t smoke or drink … it just crushed me.”
After undergoing treatment, Lourdes is now feeling great and living life to the fullest.
She was keen to participate in the video, wanting to remind women from all walks of life of the need for regular mammograms.
“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime,” she said.
“Women owe it to themselves to look after their health; early intervention means a better prognosis and a better outcome so regular mammograms are critical.”
Westmead BCI director Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan said the video encouraged women to make time for their health and ensure they schedule regular check-ups.
“We are urging women aged 50 – 74 to have a mammogram every two years,” she said.
“Breast cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of Australian women, yet only half of all eligible women in the BreastScreen NSW target age group are being screened regularly.
“We need to significantly increase the number of women screening and in turn, reduce the number of women dying from this disease.”
Free breast screening is available at five BCI Sunflower Clinics across western Sydney.
Call 13 20 50 to find your nearest clinic and book your free mammogram.
The video is available via this link.