Maureen, Northampton

Breast cancer champion

Go and get it checked.

Maureen’s story

Twenty years ago at 46 years of age, Maureen was running a rest centre in Geraldton where mothers came to feed their babies. Life was busy with her two daughters and three great grandchildren.

Maureen had noticed a lump above her right breast and decided to get it checked out by a GP. At the initial appointment and subsequent mammogram, no breast cancer was detected. Maureen was concerned about the lump and had a feeling something wasn’t right so sought a second opinion. Several appointments later, including a second mammogram and a biopsy, Maureen was diagnosed with breast cancer. The lump was removed and she underwent 7 weeks of radiation therapy.

Over the next few years, Maureen continued her check-ups with her GP and in 2002 was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time. This time, Maureen had a mastectomy to remove her right breast.

Thirteen years later in 2014, Maureen had a mammogram on her left breast and was told there wasn’t any cancer.  Given her history, Maureen was concerned and requested her GP refer her to the cancer centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth. Another mammogram and a biopsy confirmed Maureen had breast cancer for a third time. At this point, Maureen was given the option or having the lump removed or having radiation and another mastectomy. For peace of mind, she underwent second mastectomy.

Throughout her journey with cancer, Maureen found joy in her animals, her garden and the supportive people she met whilst having treatment in Perth.

Maureen’s advice

“Go and get it checked”.

“If they say there’s nothing wrong and you think there might be, go and get it checked again”.

“Young girls in particular should check their breasts”.

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Breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screening or mammograms are designed for women who do not have any noticeable symptoms of breast cancer.

If you do not have any breast cancer symptoms and you’re eligible, it is recommended you participate in the free breast screening program for women aged over 40 years.

Women living in regional WA can access the BreastScreen WA mobile service which visits almost 100 rural towns every two years, with some towns receiving visits annually. To find out when the BreastScreen WA mobile service is visiting your town, visit the BreastScreen WA website.

If you do have possible breast cancer symptoms, it’s  highly recommended see your doctor, clinic nurse or health worker without delay.

Remember, the earlier cancer is found, the better your chances of survival. So, make sure you participate in free screening at every opportunity and see your doctor, clinic nurse or health worker if you notice any unusual symptoms.