Carol's story

Carol A

“Going back to BreastScreen Queensland every two years saved my life.”

"It sounds strange but I look forward to having my mammogram. I look forward to getting that letter telling me I'm clear, that I'm cancer free.

I had my first breastscreen in 1996. My doctor recommended it after my 50th birthday. Going back to BreastScreen Queensland every two years just became a good habit I got into – a habit that probably saved my life.

I'd get my reminder letter, make an appointment and not think twice. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my sixth visit. I couldn't understand it. I had no lumps, no discomfort, no nothing.

When they showed me the screens I couldn't see anything. There was no mass, just a faint white line but they saw something I couldn't. I then had an ultrasound and it didn't pick anything up but a needle biopsy did – a small little cancer the size of a grain of rice. It was tucked away in a duct.

That's when reality hit home: I had cancer. The world stopped for me. I was in shock. I didn't want to die.

Thank goodness for Breastscreen. They're not generalists. Breasts are their business and they're looking at them all day, every day. I truly believe that is why my non-obvious little lump was detected.

I'm five years clear and cancer free now. In the end I didn't even have to undergo chemo or any treatment because the cancer hadn't time to grow or move in the two years since my last breastscreen. Now when I have my breastscreen I look forward to the letter that say's everything is okay. It's like winning lotto.

I can't understand why a woman puts off having her breastscreen. It doesn't cost anything, the new machines have made it more comfortable and, as for the time it takes, well, I'm sure some people have queued longer to buy their lunch. So, my advice is go book your breastscreen. It's a good habit to get into."

Last reviewed 04 May 2017 Last updated 04 May 2017

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