There was absolutely no sign whatsoever to give me an inkling that I had breast cancer. I was perfectly well. I would never have found it by breast examination by self-examination. It was so tiny that I couldn't possibly have felt it. I thought I felt something, but I wasn't sure, because you know, when you do it you think, oh, can't be. Yes, I was a little worried, a little anxious. I just thought it's best to be safe. So really going for breast screening was driven by my niggling worry about the irregularity that I felt. Whilst family history is very important, it's not something that I would say, well, you don't have a family history so don't worry about it. Totally the opposite. If you can find the cancer early, your chance of survival is higher. It gives people peace of mind. I just thought it might have been a cyst, but with pressure from my granddaughter, and also my very best friend, making sure that I did go and have the mammogram, and once I found out what it was it eased what was going through my mind. And I just thought it might have been, you know like your ducts 'cause it was down near where the ducts were, and I thought it was just the ducts, in your breast, but it wasn't, it was the lump. Do you ever think about what might have been had you not done consistent breast screenings? Well, wouldn't be here talking to you today probably. I do think about what might have happened had I not booked in and I don't think it would've been a great outcome. The main thing was I got my diagnosis I had a fantastic team around me and I did call my medical staff my team and they were extremely important to me. I may have found a lump if I hadn't had breast screen if I hadn't been attending, if I hadn't been, you know interested in, proactive in my own health regimen. I might have found it when it was too late, and I probably wouldn't be here. So that's why it's so important to keep going to your breast screen. I have screening every year now. I know when I have a test, be it breast screening or something else, it makes you feel comfortable, that that's another thing ticked off your list and go on with your day. But it was also for the things that I wanted to achieve in life that I hadn't yet achieved. I still had things to do, so I wasn't ready to go anywhere, and I wasn't gonna go anywhere. One of the biggest drivers, which I now know in hindsight was the birth of my grandson. We didn't have any grandchildren when I was diagnosed. But now having him it gives me even more motivation, to keep up the good fight.
Eligibility for free screening mammograms with BreastScreen Australia starts at 40, with those aged 50 to 74 invited to screen every 2 years.