In, Squash, Out –
20 minutes to save your life
Jill Scott was about to head overseas on holiday when she got the letter – we need to do some further tests.
Jill had just been for her regular mammogram, something she had been dutifully doing for years.
“Having a mammogram is simple – I’d been having them for years – it’s just in, squash, out. A 20 minute appointment that could save your life – it saved mine,” Jill said.
Jill’s regular mammogram had revealed a cancer the size of a grain of rice, too small to be felt through normal breast examinations, and with no other symptoms.
“It was only that I had regular mammograms that the cancer was found. It could’ve been a very different outcome for me,” Jill said.
Breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer among women in NSW, with one in eight being diagnosed in their lifetime.
Latest figures from BreastScreen show that 53,000 women aged 50 to 74 in the Hunter New England Health region haven’t had a
mammogram in the past two years.
“Ladies I know don’t go because they’re frightened; they’d prefer not to know. When they found the cancer I was frightened, of
course I was. Breast cancer happens to other people,” said Jill.
“But from the moment I received the diagnosis I was just wrapped up in a dome of care and support from BreastScreen.
“At every turn there were people from BreastScreen there to help me. What was a really horrible time was made all the easier
by their care and support.”
Its five years since Jill’s surgery to remove her breast cancer and she is now an advocate in the community for BreastScreen - talking to women’s groups about the importance of regular screening.
Rebecca Delaporte from BreastScreen Hunter New England is encouraging all women aged 50 to 74 to make the time to get checked.
“Finding breast cancer early is the key to successful treatment,” said Rebecca.
BreastScreen is a free breast screening program across NSW. The program is recommended for women aged 50 to 74 years. However, all women over the age of 40 are eligible for screening through the program.
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