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Lynette shares her story to encourage First Nations women to get mammogram

Published:  05 November 2021

Lynette Kim Sing has an important message to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women this Breast Cancer Awareness month.

After missing two routine mammograms while working out of town, when Ms Kim Sing was due in April this year, she made sure she booked in at BreastScreen Townsville.

“After the mammogram I was called back and they told me they’d seen something unusual and that I would need a biopsy,” she said.

“The biopsy showed I had a tumour that was breast cancer and it was the early stages.”

“I had absolutely no signs or symptoms like lumps or pain and ended up having two surgeries; one to remove the tumour which was 13mm in size and one to remove14 lymph nodes.”

Ms Kim Sing said from there she began chemotherapy, radiation therapy and lymphedema treatment. “I’m just so thankful that it was detected when it was,” she said.

“It I’d skipped that mammogram too it might have been a different scenario because as it turned out, I had cancer.” 

BreastScreen Queensland radiographer Liz Phillips said Breast Cancer was the most diagnosed cancer for First Nations women.

“Participation rates in the BreastScreen Queensland program are lower for First Peoples compared to non Indigenous Australians,” she said.

“For BreastScreen Queensland Townsville Service, the participation rate is 48.3% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

“We would like to see this number much higher and I would urge all women to take the opportunity to book in for their free, routine BreastScreen.

“We encourage women to check their breasts regularly for changes and if concerned see their GP.” Ms Phillips said early detection was key to surviving breast cancer.

“With free breast screening available for women over 40, there’s no good excuse not to get checked,” she said.

Ms Kim Sing said she wanted to share her experience with other women in the hope that they would make a regular mammogram a priority.
“Some women think it is a painful task because they squash your breast down but it could save your life,” she said.

“For many women there is also the embarrassment factor but at the end of the day early detection is the best way to deal with it because the sooner it is detected the better position you will be in health wise.”

If you are over 40 years of age, call BreastScreen Queensland on 132050 to book your free mammogram or book online at www.breastscreen.qld.gov.au .

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