Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be overwhelming. Women, their partners and families need support to cope with the emotional impact of the illness on their daily lives. 

In this video clip, participants discuss how they felt when they were diagnosed with breast cancer.


Video 2018 © Copyright Healthily Pty Ltd


Carolyn - A lot of people asked me whether I found a lump and I actually didn’t.

For me, I hopped out of the shower we’d gone away for the weekend I hopped out of the shower so it was different bathroom and looked in the mirror and I had dippling underneath my breast. It wasn’t something that I could see when I looked down and so it was that dimpling that I guess gave me the thought that there may be something going on.
So I went to my GP and had a mammogram and an ultrasound and obviously had the diagnosis from there that there was something underneath the skin causing that tethering so it was like a dimple and so from then I was referred to a breast surgeon the roller coaster started from there.

Siew - I was actually diagnosed as part of the breast screen process which is every two years and I’ve always made sure that I went to those. But probably starting from about six months before that particular breast screen I did kind of detect a thickening I suppose in the breast and at that time I kind of thought to myself should I go and see my GP I think that was a little bit of not wanting to know as well and also I kept thinking OK it's not kind of what the way it's been described to me when you check your breasts also I was in denial a bit thinking that 'Oh no, its not a lump, it's not hard it's kind of just a bit of tissue.' So I ignored it.

So then about two months later the breast screen appointment came through so then I though OK I'll just go to that. And that's when they picked it up at that breast screen so yeah it's important to go to those I think. Definitely.

Jill - I was diagnosed with breast cancer I’d been having mammograms since I was 40 I’ve got a strong history of cancer in my family both sides so my GP had recommended that I do that yearly.

I was due for a mammogram I had made an appointment I went in for the mammogram and that was fine. It seemed to be clear. I went in next door for an ultrasound because being 40 you’re quite young your breasts are usually quite dense so I went in for the ultrasound and he’d called the lady in that had done the mammogram. He wanted me to go back next door and have another mammogram so I did.

They pushed me quite firmly back because the tumour was at the back of the breast near the breastbone. And she showed it to me and I had no idea what I was looking at it just looked like the surface of the moon to me. Anyway, my husband had called and said are you OK? and I said I think I’m in trouble.

Elli - I had this fall behind me for some reason maybe because I’ve lost my first cousin to breast cancer and for the last ten years without any fail my best friend and I we used to we still are have yearly check-ups and to be honest I was shocked when it was diagnosed.

Melanie - My breast cancer diagnosis has come about twice for me Initially five years ago and then again only just last year.

So my first diagnosis, I was 38 and I had a three year old and a baby, a three month old baby. And my three year old had kicked me by accident on my breast area and that evening I was feeding our baby and I was massaging the area because it felt a little bit sore from being kicked and I was massaging the area as you do when you breast feed and then I felt a very hard lump that was classic pea, frozen pea and I remember hearing stories about it's a pea sized lump and it's really hard and a shiver went down my spine when I felt it.

Carolyn - I was sitting there in the surgeons room and I was actually quite composed I'd seen the mammograms I'd seen the ultrasound I knew I even hadn’t had the biopsy at that stage. It was really after I'd spoken with her and I walked outside that I just absolutely broke down absolutely shattered I just felt really shocked and really surprised.

Siew - I think that that first day I was just in shock because it was so unexpected but after that it was then you think about I don’t know how this could be possible because there's no family history there isn’t a family history of cancer in general and I breast fed and all those kind of things run through your head you’re thinking that I'm not sure how possibly I could be the one that would get this.


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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: healthily-breast-cancer

Last updated: June 2018

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