Simar Amad knows first hand how important regular cancer screenings are.
In 2001 at the age of 29, a simple breast check saved her life when she found a lump in her breast that turned out to be cancer.
“When my older boy was four-and-a-half and my twins were 18-months, I found a very hard lump on my right breast. I went to the doctor and it was cancer. That same year I had a mastectomy,” Simar says.
The Arabic-speaking community development worker from Arabic Welfare Inc in Brunswick is now helping raise awareness of cervical and breast cancer screening among newly arrived migrant and refugee women.
With funding from a joint grant from BreastScreen Victoria and PapScreen Victoria, Simar held a cancer screening information session for Arabic-speaking women from Africa and the Middle East.
Simar used her own cancer experience to answer questions from the women during the session, held at NMIT Broadmeadows early this month.
“I drew on my own experience and I told the women that if I did not go to the doctor when I did, I would not be standing here today."