Catherine's story


“Life is more important than worrying about a moment of discomfort.”

"I've always had what you could call lumpy breasts. My Mum was the same. So I'm good about having my breastscreen. They say if you check regularly you get to know your breasts well and are more likely to notice any differences. Well, I have little lumps come up all the time and they need checking out. Luckily, it has been nothing serious. I think I was only 22 when I had my first mammogram. I had a lump and actually had to have it out. Fortunately it was benign but it was still scary.

When I was 40 I started going to BreastScreen Queensland. Some people might think that having regular breastscreens is like tempting fate, but I'm not apprehensive. I actually love going for my breastscreen. I know that might sound odd but I'm the sort of person who would rather know than not know.

When I get that letter from BreastScreen Queensland telling me everything is fine it is totally worth it and a great relief. When you've had breast problems you want to keep on top of things.

Sure there is a bit of discomfort but it is only for a minute and that's negated by the positive atmosphere and the friendly staff. After all, life is more important than worrying about a moment of discomfort. I did have a woman ask once whether I was concerned about possible long term radiation exposure. I did think about it and then I came to the conclusion I was more concerned about living.

However, it's easy to get perspective when you've had cancer in your family. I have a niece, 41, whose cancer was picked up when she went for her first mammogram. It's a rare one and she is in hospital at the moment. Yet she feels blessed. She wouldn't have known until it was too late if it hadn't been for BreastScreen Queensland and her mammogram. And there is good news. Her results are looking good and it may be that she won't even need chemo. I can't tell you how we're all so relieved.

Family and friends are all good reasons to have a breastscreen. And of course, do it for yourself. That's why I've been known to send the odd brochure to family and friends to motivate them. It is because they're important to me."

Last reviewed 1 September 2020 Last updated 1 September 2020

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COVID-19 Alert

We’re still operating but we’ve made some changes to the way we work to reduce the ongoing risk of COVID-19.

If you’ve recently had a COVID-19 vaccination, there’s no need to delay your breast screen.

Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

If you’re feeling unwell, call us on 13 20 50 to cancel or reschedule your breast screening appointment.

If you’re feeling well, it’s important that you continue to access your usual health services, including breast screening if you’re due.

For updates on COVID-19, please visit Queensland Health