Cancer: A Personal Story - Radio Program


In this three part series Daphne Munurrgitj talks with Dr Alyssa Vass (Galikali) and Joy Bulkanhawuy about her journey with breast cancer. Yolŋu Matha with some English

Yolŋu Matha with some English

In this three part series Daphne Munurrgitj talks with Dr Alyssa Vass (Galikali) and Joy Bulkanhawuy about her journey with breast cancer.

Cancer – A Personal Story part 1

In this first program she describes that she found a lump in her armpit and asked a non-Indigenous co-worker at the shop about it, who told her to go to the clinic straight away. At first she didn't think it was anything but a lump, but she was sent to Darwin to have a test - where they took some tissue from the lump - and she was told it was breast cancer. She tells us that she didn't feel sick at all, which Dr Alyssa says can be the case with cancer - even though we might look and feel well, we can still have it. She was very scared though, especially while waiting two weeks for the test results.(Length 5:42)

Cancer - A Personal Story part 2

In this second program, Munurrgitj explains she was given two options - to have her whole breast removed, or to have just the lump removed. She decided on having the lump removed, followed by chemotherapy. Dr Alyssa explains that when people have an operation they often also need to have chemotherapy - one treatment is not enough - because after they take out the lump, there might be little bits of cancer left behind (too small to see) that the chemotherapy kills. If any small bits get left behind they might grow and make the person sick again. Munurrgitj talks about having the portacath, so that the chemotherapy can get into the blood vessels and travel throughout the whole body, killing any remaining cancer. The ladies also talk about why hair falls out with chemotherapy, and Munurrgitj explained that her hair fell out, but after a few months it grew back again and now is very long. (Length 11:36)

Cancer - A Personal Story part 3

In the final program, Dr Alyssa explains that even though someone might have had treatment for cancer, they still need to take any medications the doctors prescribe, which might stop the cancer coming back. Also, they still need to go for checkups to make sure the cancer hasn't come back. In the same way all of us need to keep getting our checkups, because even if one checkup is clear, the cancer might grow later. They also explain that Munurrgitj's story is a good one - because it helps us learn that if we go for our checkups, or go straight to the clinic if we find a lump, then we can get treated. It makes it easier for the doctors to get rid of the cancer and we may not die from it.(Length 5:47)

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