A breast care nurse has urged patients to remember if they "feel lost, confused or sad there is help out there".
McGrath breast care nurses support breast cancer patients both mentally and physically from first diagnosis. Christine Walterlin started the position in Goulburn earlier this year.
For Mrs Walterlin, her first brush with the reality of breast cancer occurred when her son was in year seven. His best friend's mother died from the disease.
This experience has since fueled her passion to care for and support patients.
Mrs Walterlin said when the position at the Goulburn Community Health Centre opened up she was "looking for another challenge".
The former community nurse has a wide range of experience and loved the ability to focus on one area.
Mrs Walterlin currently has around 40 women in the region who require her support. She covers a large area including Marulan, Taralga, Crookwell, Windellema and Mt Fairy.
The nurse is a safe person to ask questions to, a shoulder to cry on and a point of contact for patients.
Mrs Walterlin has a focus on education helps patients focus and "take back control".
She said receiving "the right information at the right time" was vital.
"If you feel lost or confused or sad there is help out there.
"You are not alone."
While most patients will be automatically referred to a breast care nurse, Mrs Walterlin urged people to reach out if they had slipped through the cracks.
In her experience every patient has different needs, Mrs Walterlin said she was "like a detective" in assessing each case.
A highlight of the job for the nurse is when a patient is discharged cancer-free. Although this is not always the end result.
While most breast cancer is curable, especially if detected early, some patients are terminal. Mrs Walterlin said this was always emotionally challenging as rapport was forged along the way.
Mrs Walterlin urged everyone to check their breasts every month to ensure early detection.
"The best way to do this is to really know what looks normal," she said.
"Stand in front of the mirror and look, if you know what your breasts look like normally you can easily see a change in shape, dimpling or that something just looks or feels different."
"Everyone should check regardless of age, if you have them check them."
The Breast Screen mobile van is currently set up at Veolia Arena on Braidwood Road, Goulburn until December 17. Visit the Breast Screen website or call 13 20 50 for more information.
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