The one thing that saved Sally’s life 44



View Profile

“I was actually due to have a mammogram early last year, it was about February, and I thought, ‘Oh, a mammogram no, well I really can’t cope with that right now’. And then, as I tell all my friends, I had this little voice in my head that was saying to me, ‘Do it now!’”

These are the thoughts that so many of us have. But how many actually act on them? Currently, it is recommended that Australian women aged over 50 have a mammogram every two years to detect breast cancer. The reason for the high frequency is to detect the cancer early and provide the opportunity for less invasive treatment that gives the patient a better chance at survival.

This is why we can’t skip a mammogram, because if you leave it too long, it will be too late.

Sally made the right decision to have the mammogram and she was so lucky that she did. She said, “They gave me the result and said, ‘Yes, I’m afraid they are malignant and they need to be removed’. And I said, ‘Ah,’ I said, ‘Well does this mean a double mastectomy for me?’ And he said, ‘I don’t think so.’ He said, ‘Fortunately,’ and this is why to my dying day I will thank BreastScreen, because he said ‘they’re small, we got them early, and, um by the look of it,’ he said, ‘I think they’re pretty aggressive, could be grade three but I’m not sure, but,’ he said, ‘I think we can get away with doing lumpectomies’.”

Imagine if Sally had delayed that mammogram. Imagine if she chose not to have it until the following two years… The sad and terrifying reality is that it may have been too late for her.

Sally had her mammogram by using a BreastScreen Australia service. BreastScreen Australia specifically targets women aged between 50 and 74 years and invites them for a free screening mammogram every two years. Women aged between 40 and 49 years or 75 years and older can also have a free screening mammogram through BreastScreen Australia. Since BreastScreen Australia began in 1991, the BreastScreen Australian monitoring report 2011-2012 states that breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women aged between 50 and 69 years have reduced from 68 to 44.

This is because early detection saves lives. For Sally, early detection did save her life.

So when it comes to having your routine mammogram, what is holding you back from doing it? Is it the time? It’s half an hour out of your day. Is it the cost? Through BreastScreen Australia, it is free. Is it the fear? Remember that finding out sooner rather than later gives you a better chance at survival.

Going for a breast screen could save your life. So don’t miss yours.

You can watch Sally’s story in the video below. But if you’re late for your mammogram or you need to book now, call 13 20 50 and make that appointment – it could save your life.


This article has been sponsored by BreastScreen Australia. It has been written by an independent, Starts at 60 writer as we feel it provides our readers with valuable and highly relevant information. To find out more about BreastScreen Australia or to book your next breast screen, call 13 20 50 or head to the BreastScreen Australia website by clicking here.



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Just had mine. So busy can take 28 days for results. But I feel ok so not concerned. But I know someone who had one because they were catching random people. It saved her life too.

  2. a small cancer was found 2 years ago. so small it was only picked up with ultra sound. had a wire put in the breast so the doctor could find it. then had radiation every day for 3 weeks. was clear on my first mammagram. have to have a check up every year for 5 years. so glad i went to my mammagram.

  3. They found my lump on my very first mamma gram at age 50. I didn’t want to go but that little voice inside my head said you must go. It was about 5mm in size. Had all the tests to see if it was cancerous, and it was. Had it removed, then had radiation every day for 8 weeks. I go every year for a mamma gram and It has now been 10 years. That first mamma gram saved my life.

  4. I was about to get married decided to have mammogram 6 mths before due date, 1 week before my marriage I was told to keep everything on hold, mine too was malignant, instead of honeymoon I had hospital , My husband still wanted to go ahead with our marriage, it was just him and I and 2 witnesses, that kept my spirits up,

  5. Please ladies have your mammograms. Please. I had mine regularly every two years and self-examined in between. Unfortunately my self examination did not reveal the lump to me but the mammogram sure did. It was a very aggressive lump lying closer to my chest wall which is why I didn’t feel it. I had a mastectomy which revealed an 8cm x 2cm massively aggressive lump, with 21 of 31 lymph nodes positive for cancer as well.
    It is now twelve months later and I am eternally grateful to Breast Screen Australia and the amazing medical professionals involved all along the terrible trip. (Don’t like the work journey.) I won’t say it is easy but well worth it. Don’t feel wonderful yet but I am sure it is not too far away. Have a husband, two children and four beautiful grandchildren, the last one being only 3 months old, to live for.
    Don’t even hesitate, or think twice. Have your mammogram.

  6. I had my mammograms done every 2 years from the age of 40. At 52 I found my malignant lump myself despite having a mammogram 6 months earlier. When I went and asked them why, they told me that crystallisation in the breasts look very similar. I had a lump then chemo 6×3 and radiation for 6 week. I am now 8 years past my diagnosis and feeling blessed. Ladies please be vigilant and know how to self examine and do it monthly.

  7. You do not magically turn 60 and need to begin checking and get mammograms. Self examination from your teenage years and then mammograms as soon as available from breastscreen (age and family history dependent) are our first and best line of defence. No, not perfect but our best weapon. Knowledge is power. Know your breasts ladies and men too, age is no barrier. Diagnosed age – 38 after finding a lump

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *