The hardest part was telling my family
Rebecca Hawkins was only 40 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and says BCAC’s Step by Step support pack helped her to understand and process her diagnosis and treatment.
The mum-to-four-boys was diagnosed after her GP sent her for a mammogram when he found lumps in her breast following a regular breast exam.
The mammogram identified fibroadenoma, which are small benign lumps in the breast. Her GP sent her to a breast surgeon, who then did a biopsy which revealed a cancerous tumour.
The diagnosis stunned Rebecca. “It was such an absolute shock and I had a really tough week at the beginning wondering if I was going to die. It was so hard to tell my boys, knowing how upset they would be, but they were so supportive. They all wore pink ribbons because ‘their mum had breast cancer’.”
Rebecca had a partial mastectomy and radiation therapy. She is now taking Tamoxifen. She says the Step by Step support pack travelled the treatment journey with her.
“It was so helpful. I found myself referring to it all the time to learn more about breast cancer and the treatments. It really helped me process all that I was going through.”
Rebecca says her experience has taught her the value of regular breast screening.
“I really want to let women know how important it is to get a mammogram. I thank God they discovered my cancer when they did. If the cancer is discovered early, the treatment is straightforward and the survival rates are good. Please get a mammogram.”