Natalie is no stranger to cancer. With a long family history of the disease on both sides of her family, she understands how important it is to be proactive about her health. She has had regular breast screens with the BreastScreen Victoria program for well over a decade.
It was after one of these routine mammograms that radiologists found a benign, non-cancerous tumour in her scan. Following discussions with a surgeon, the tumour was successfully removed.
This experience led Natalie to become a strong advocate for the BreastScreen program. She encourages everyone to have a breast screen every two years—whether they have a family history of breast cancer or not.
“I haven’t personally had breast cancer, but finding a lump was scary enough,” Natalie says.
Natalie regularly supports her friends, family and co-workers to get a breast screen.
“I’ve organised a group screen for women I work with who had either never had a screen before or who had not screened for many years. Afterwards, they all commented that the process was quick, they were made to feel comfortable, and they felt more in control of their health,” she says.
While she notes that she does experience some discomfort during mammograms, Natalie says that the BreastScreen radiographers always work to minimise any pain and assure her that they can stop the screen at any time.
“It's all over so fast; two deep breaths in each position and you're done.”
Natalie aims to motivate those around her to keep up with all their routine health screens.
“A regular breast screen is one of the easiest health checks to do, and it only takes 10 minutes. Don’t put off something today that could adversely affect your tomorrow.”