Cancer find after fall

Cancer survivor Pat Winch and her mother Freda Screaigh holidaying last month on a Denmark farm.
Cancer survivor Pat Winch and her mother Freda Screaigh holidaying last month on a Denmark farm.

In the next few weeks the Secret Harbour grandmother became ill with influenza and thought no more of the fall, until she realised an odd-looking bruise on her left breast that she suspected had come from the fall was not going away.

She asked her daughter Sally to take a look at the bruise. She took a look, rang the doctor and made an appointment.

�You have to check this out,� Sally said.

Pat�s doctor ordered a mammogram but did not seem overly concerned.

�At the clinic the regular operator was showing another lady how the machine worked,� Pat said. �She was explaining what to look for when suddenly she stopped talking. I knew then I was in trouble.�

Pat�s doctor referred her to a specialist, who confirmed she had breast cancer. Pat and her husband are both retired and care for Pat�s elderly mother Freda Screaigh at home.

She is 102 and though bright and reasonably active needs constant care.

Pat rang her cousin in Melbourne, who hopped on a flight to help care for Freda while Pat had a mastectomy, followed by a second operation six weeks later as not all the cancer was taken in the first operation.

Six months after several sessions of chemotherapy, Pat had some good news.

Twelve months later the news was still good.

�The specialist said the cancer may have been triggered by my fall and the bout of influenza,� Pat said.

�The bruise was small and slightly indented, like a dimple, but I know I am alive today because the cancer was caught early.

�The bruise was small and slightly indented, like a dimple, but I know I am alive today because the cancer was caught early.

�Any woman who notices anything different on her breasts, whether it is a lump or not, should check it out and the quicker the better.�

Pat said she was grateful to her doctors and family for their support and to the WA Cancer Council, particularly for its post-operative support and advice.

The WA Cancer Council will hold its annual Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life over the October 17-18 weekend at Arena Joondalup. Funds raised will assist the council with its research and support programs.

For more information or how to join a relay team, call 0417 922 726 or email relay forlifejoondalupwanneroo@ gmail.com