Rockingham and Kwinana women need to pay themselves attention, trust their own judgement and reach out to others when they need help, says Shoalwater resident Jan Hoad.
Ms Hoad suffers from bone cancer and but rather than letting it get the better of her she is helping to spread the word about cancer awareness.
She said women needed to pay their health close attention and trust themselves, if they thought something was wrong.
“When you’ve had a diagnosis like mine it’s a complete change of lifestyle,” she said.
“You can’t work and you become dependent on other people around you.
“Initially the doctors didn’t think it was anything serious but then I lost my toe to gangrene and it was only then they realised something wasn’t right.”
February is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Ms Hoad said it was important for women to know which cancers could affect them.
She said was important for women to reach out if they were affected with an illness and seek support from other people.
“I’ve got friends who won’t go to a doctor, they bury their heads, a lot of people do that,” she said.
“Really it’s better to know and make plans.
“You have to two choices, you can either fall in a heap, be miserable and die quicker or get your life in order and use the time you’ve got to enjoy yourself.”
Ms Hoad takes part in support groups and activities in Rockingham, run by the Cancer Council.
She said she was thankful activities were on offer as they gave her a chance to lighten her load.
“I’ve tried a few of the different activities like yoga and Reiki, and they’ve been so great,” she said.
“If you’re in my type of situation you need to go to groups and support them because otherwise they’ll disappear. Don’t hold yourself back.”
For more information, visit www.cancerwa.asn.au.