This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a Gold Coast woman — the youngest Australian to be diagnosed with breast cancer — is urging all women to be ‘breast aware’.
Bianca Innes was 20 years old when she was diagnosed with a large, aggressive and fast-spreading tumour in her breast in 2017. The tumour was larger than 4 cm and had spread to the lymph nodes under her arm.
“That moment was an incredibly difficult time for me and my family and it was certainly not something I was expecting to experience while I was so young,” Innes said.
“I want women of all ages to know that breast cancer can happen to anyone. While the month of October reminds us all to be breast aware, it is important to always listen to your body.”
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that 19,371 women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It is the most common cancer affecting women; nine in 10 of those diagnosed will have no family history.
Radiologist Dr Jacqui Milne from The Women’s Imaging Centre Southport performed Bianca’s core biopsy, and said Australia’s improving survival rate for breast cancer can be attributed to early detection.
“Regular self-examination is the key to early detection, and it is recommended women start screening from the age of 40,” Dr Milne said.
“You should see your doctor if you notice a lump or have any concerns, no matter your age or family history.”
This year, The Women’s Imaging Centre Southport celebrates its 10th anniversary caring for Gold Coast women.
“I remember feeling so anxious and nervous ahead of my core biopsy, but Dr Milne and the whole team really put me at ease. They could see I was visibly upset, and they took me to a private waiting room where I could sit with my stepmum before the procedure,” Innes said.
In January 2018, Innes’s blood results and scans revealed no evidence of cancer.
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