In late 2017 I had a routine mammogram as an over 50 year old. On the day, I got called back in for further testing – re mammogram and ultrasound…. for my right breast. I remember being confused that it was my right breast and not my left…I must have instinctively known about the cancer in my left breast (I really cannot explain that). Anyway after their examination and re-testing I was cleared and went back on my merry way. About 6 weeks later I found a small hard lump in my left breast. I have always been a self-checker; I grew up with that message and am so grateful that I did. I dutifully went to my GP and was sent off for an ultrasound that progressed to a core biopsy. After a few days I was informed that I had Stage 1 breast cancer (I am one of the lucky ones). Within a week I had a lumpectomy and then off to the Oncologist for a treatment plan. I was told that my breast cancer is ‘curable’ and if I decided not to have any treatment there was about a 85% chance of never seeing this again. Having the treatments, chemotherapy, Herceptin, radiation, and Tamoxifen, improved my chances to 98-99%. So early 2018, I booked in for chemo, lost my hair, cut down my work, wore the turbans, and just hung in there. I chose to continue to be as active as I could throughout treatment. Most mornings I would be on the yoga mat just to feel my body moving…some mornings I just laid my head down on the mat 🙂 . I ran (shuffled really) most weeks and if that was too much just went for a walk.
As the year progressed, I became curious about a few things. Why did the mammogram miss the tumour? Why isn’t there more public information about self-detection? I learned a lot, including the inadequacy of relying just on mammograms for women, like me, that have dense breasts. I met with the relevant doctors and believe there is a strong opinion that self-detection is one of the tools that we should be using. I am not saying that we should disregard mammograms, as they definitely save lives, however they are one tool that we should be using alongside others specifically self-checking.
Now a few years down the track, I’m fully recovered and down to just an annual visit with the Oncologist.
I am so grateful that you have this business idea….it is fantastic and spreads the word.
All the best