“A breastscreen is one of those things you do for yourself to give you peace of mind.”
I had a maternal aunt who died of breast cancer. Although it was post menopausal it does make you nervous when there's been cancer in the family. Due to this and because I've got what you'd call lumpy breasts I had a mammogram privately before I was 40 – just to make sure everything was okay and to set my mind at rest.
When I turned 40, and was eligible for BreastScreen Queensland, I went to the mobile when it came to town as I was living in a regional area. My sister and I started going and we even dragged my mother along who remarkably had never had a mammogram. I know some women worry about having them but, really, it's not hard. You take your top off and have a machine push on your boobs for a minute and then it's over.
About my fourth time I got a call from BreastScreen in Rockhampton and they wanted me to come back in but up to Rockhampton. The lady was very positive and upbeat and I could tell she was trying not to worry me. I kept pressing her and all she would say was that there was a little “anomaly' they wanted to look into. It was a really busy time for our family and I was actually about to travel to Brisbane.
They were quite persistent and I ended up going to see them while I was in Brisbane. I had another mammogram and as soon as they showed them to me I could see spots on the left breast. They wanted to biopsy them straight away, so there I was on my trip to Brisbane having this thing done. They were cysts and they drained them and thankfully everything was fine. I walked out, caught a bus back into the City and because I had time to kill I went and had a pedicure! It was a strange day. The funny thing is I was never that worried. With some of the things my family has been through I wasn't going to get upset or too worried until I knew what the situation was and had evidence before me.
Has the experience stopped me going? No. I line up for my half an hour every two years. Having seen my sister-in-law go through breast cancer, a breastscreen is one of those things you can do for yourself to give you peace of mind.
Last reviewed 1 September 2020 Last updated 1 September 2020