A BALGA nurse will cut her ponytail off to raise cancer awareness at the Wadjak Northside Community Centre on October 13.
Helen Green (46) launched her Cancer Council WA fundraising campaign to reduce the impact of cancer on Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the community.
According to Cancer Council WA statistics, cancer is a leading cause of death in WA, accounting for about three in every 10 deaths.
Ms Green, who works at Benara Road General Practice, said the haircut was designed to trigger discussion.
“The haircut basically was just to start the conversation and essentially keep the conversation going after the event,” she said.
“I have got my hairdresser Patrice doing it but it is a little bit nerve-wracking however, it is just hair and it will grow back.
“With all the different health issues going on in society, cancer has become a bit of a norm but we really do need to raise the issue and start early screening.”
Ms Green said many people did not speak up about cancer.
“We want to get people understanding it is not contagious, ask any questions, support the people who might have cancer, the people supporting them and just to get the community together,” she said.
“Some people are embarrassed about it, because they might be the main bread winner for the family so they want to ignore any lumps and bumps.”
She said losing a friend to the disease drove her to start the campaign.
“I have had family members, good friends… there are more success stories in cancer than there are fatalities, which people need to understand – it is not a death sentence if you hear the ‘big C’,” she said.
She said she hoped to become a comprehensive cancer nurse in the future.
The event will be held at The Wadjak Northside Community Centre in Balga on October 13.