Pip, NSW – Advances in diagnosis and treatment mean women like my mother survive

April 2nd, 2014

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1960’s in England, six months after her doctor told her it was only a cyst and to stop worrying.

My father was told at the beginning of her treatment that she had six months to live, but with a marvellous specialist she lived for a further 10 years and died at the age of 45. In the last couple of years treatment was experimental and harsh, but thank goodness we have moved on since then.

During the time between mum’s diagnosis and death, she worked tirelessly to establish the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham, UK, which is still helping people to this day.

A close friend of mine recently died after a similar experience, but the doctors were onto her condition straight away and her treatment was a lot kinder. My stepmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, but with early diagnosis and treatment she survived the condition.

I have had annual mammograms for the last 34 years, latterly with ultrasound. The advances in diagnosis and treatment mean that so many women like my mother with young families survive this disease and go on to have full lives.