Breast cancer champion
It’s easy for a week to turn into a month to turn into a year when it comes to ‘getting around to doing something’ but an appointment with our GP isn’t something you should put off.
Just before her 40th birthday, administrator Toni and her partner were kicking life goals. Life was busy with family, socialising, camping and overseas travel with plans for more travel.
Toni had noticed a lump, like a small hard pea, in her breast one morning in the shower. At the time, she had the flu and initially thought the lump could have been a swollen gland. After a couple of weeks, when it hadn’t gone away, Toni made an appointment with a GP to have the breast lump examined. It can be hard to get an appointment with a GP in Kalgoorlie at the best of times, and a particularly bad flu season made it even harder, so it was fortunate Toni persevered as it turned our the lump was breast cancer.
She had an ultrasound at the local hospital, then visited her GP again for a mammogram referral and later a core biopsy. Toni then underwent a lumpectomy on one breast and a wire excision on the other before commencing the remainder of her recommended treatment.
She credits her support network including her mother, partner, brother and his wife, friends and colleagues for getting her through the cancer journey. Toni describes her experience with cancer as ‘just a bump in the road’.
‘If you notice a symptom, the best thing you can do is deal with it’.
‘The best chance you can give yourself is to detect things early’.
‘It’s easy for a week to turn into a month to turn into a year when it comes to ‘getting around to doing something’ but an appointment with our GP isn’t something you should put off’.
‘It is scary but if something doesn’t’ feel right, you need to get it checked out. The early cancer is found, the better’.
Breast cancer screening
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.