AWARENESS IS KEY: South Burnett McGrath Breast Care nurse Roslyn Melmeth and breast cancer survivor Sylvia Regeling.
AWARENESS IS KEY: South Burnett McGrath Breast Care nurse Roslyn Melmeth and breast cancer survivor Sylvia Regeling. Rhiannon Tuffield

BreastScreen is on its way to Kingaroy

IF IT weren't for a breast check-up every two years, Nanango woman Sylvia Regeling wouldn't know where she'd be now.

The 64-year-old had experienced false alarms before but, when BreastScreen Queensland was in town last year, she expected a phone call from the doctor to be a Christmas greeting, not a cancer diagnosis.

"There's been no history of cancer in my family that I'm aware of and the women in my family have all had long lives," Mrs Regeling said.

"I'd had absolutely no symptoms - no lumps, no pain, I felt healthy and I was quite convinced it would be a false alarm."

Mrs Regeling was diagnosed 12 months ago with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a tumour within the milk duct.

The DCIS was so tiny the doctor had to magnify the scans in order to see the tumour.

"I'm amazed that they even picked it up," Mrs Regeling said.

"If I hadn't been going for my regular mammograms who knows when I would've known there was a problem."

BreastScreen Queensland will bring its digital mobile service to Kingaroy from January 11-29 next year and women over 40 are encouraged to take full advantage of the service.

South Burnett McGrath Breast Care nurse Roslyn Melmeth said the service was a good reminder for women that breast cancer was an important issue.

"Early detection is the best way to have the best outcome with any cancer - the earlier we find any cancer the easier and the outcomes are going to be," Ms Melmeth said.

"Breast cancer can happen to anyone at any age but 75% of all breast cancers are detected between the ages of 50-69, so that age group is really significant," Ms Melmeth said.

She said breast tissue became less dense as women aged and mammography was more effective.

"The breast screening program is designed as a population screening program to pick up cancers before people can feel them," Ms Melmeth said.

"But it goes hand in hand with breast awareness - people need to be very breast aware, do their own checks and be very proactive if they find something that's new or different."

Mrs Regeling said the early detection allowed her to choose less-invasive treatments.

"Every night, cancer is the last thing you think about the first thought you have when you wake up," Mrs Regeling said.

"The good thing about early detection is that it makes you feel more comfortable that you've got a pathway of moving forward."

Women older than 40 years should phone 13 20 50 to book a free breast screen with the mobile service.

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