Albany women urged to put themselves first and get checked this Breast Cancer Awareness month

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Laura Golling is urging women not to delay getting checked.
Camera IconLaura Golling is urging women not to delay getting checked. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Make your life the priority over your lifestyle and don’t delay getting checked is Albany woman Laura Golling’s message this Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Ms Golling’s life was turned upside down when she discovered a lump on her breast about six months ago.

“It was a Friday morning, I was still in bed, I had a stretch and a scratch and I felt a lump, quite a big lump,” she said.

“I made an appointment with a doctor, had a biopsy on Tuesday and was diagnosed on the Wednesday, the day before my 56th birthday and two weeks before I was travelling full-time on the road.”

The Bath Tub owner and former prison officer was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer and moved to Perth for chemotherapy to fight the aggressive cancer.

This week she will have a double mastectomy before undergoing radiation in Bunbury.

Statistics reveal in 2018, 57 women in the Great Southern were diagnosed with breast cancer, and seven died from it.

Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among WA women.

Despite the immense physical, mental and emotional toll of treatment, Ms Golling has her mind on the bush and her dream of living on the road full-time prospecting for gold across WA.

Laura Golling before her diagnosis.
Camera IconLaura Golling before her diagnosis. Credit: Supplied

“Thinking about when it is all over and just getting back to my plans — that is what has kept me going,” she said. “I just want to be out in the bush prospecting because that is what I love doing.”

Ms Golling urged other women to put themselves first and get tested regularly so they did not have to go through what she had.

“Don’t make your lifestyle a priority, make your life a priority. That is where I failed,” she said.

“I love my lifestyle of being out in the bush for four or five months of the year and I was two weeks from doing that early on this year.

“If you want to be there for the people around you, you have to look after yourself first, and sometimes we get too busy to do that, but we have to.”

Cancer Council WA regional educational officer Bruce Beamish said women in regional WA were more likely to delay getting checked when experiencing symptoms.

“If you’re unsure about a possible symptom, you should make an appointment to discuss the change with your doctor, clinic nurse or Aboriginal health worker as soon as possible,” he said.

“This is particularly important if it’s been more than four weeks since you first noticed the change.

“Being breast-aware and knowing what to look for could help find breast cancer early, which increases the chance of successful treatment.” for more details.

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