Sheila's story


“Take the first step and make an appointment with BreastScreen.”

I've been having breastscreens for such a long time that I can't remember how long it has been! However, I do remember the first time I went. I was very anxious and nervous. I couldn't wait for it to be over. Then once you get through the first time you know what to expect and you know that, basically, it's all over in 10 minutes. The only bad bit, if there is one, is the wretched machine that takes your breastscreen. A man must have invented it! It makes things a little uncomfortable and awkward you have remind yourself that it's all for your own good. Thankfully, it doesn't last long.

I'm always amazed when I hear about women who haven't ever had a breastscreen. I'm sure finding time is a problem for some women these days but, really you have to make time. Some women, of course, are shocked into it because of some experience or because someone they know has had breast cancer.

If I'm honest I probably wouldn't have done anything about having a breastscreen either if I hadn't had an experience with a cyst all those years ago. It started with me feeling this little lump and I felt very fortunate when it turned out to be just a cyst. However, after that I didn't need convincing about having breastscreens. I just go and do it. The thing is, you never think something like breast cancer will happen to you but as we know now, it can happen to anyone. Fortunately, all my breastscreens have been fine over the years. Sounds silly, but I really like getting the confirmation letter they send you when everything is okay. It makes me feel good seeing that confirmation in print.

I don't know if women talk a lot about having a breastscreen. I think it's mentioned more in passing than talked about in general. I think the cricketer's wife (Jane McGrath) did so much to get breast cancer awareness on the agenda and it is good to see the discussion and awareness continuing. It is good to see discussion about these kind of health issues today.

I'm not sure what I could say to other women, other than to tell them to take the first step and pick up the phone to make an appointment. It could be something they'll be thankful they did for the rest of their lives.

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