Last minute breastscreen check saved Vicky's life

Survivor: Vicky Walker has survived the breast cancer journey with help from her McGrath Breast Cancer Nurse Sue Kuter in Orange. Photo: Mark Logan.

Survivor: Vicky Walker has survived the breast cancer journey with help from her McGrath Breast Cancer Nurse Sue Kuter in Orange. Photo: Mark Logan.

As an ex-nurse, the irony of Vicky Walker's breast cancer journey isn't lost on her.

In February of this year the then 50-year-old Mrs Walker begrudgingly decided to have a check-up in the Breastscreen van that was operating outside Blayney Shire Council, where she works as the Workplace Health and Safety Officer.

With the only symptom being that of slight shortness of breath, Mrs Walker was shocked by the result.

"I just thought that I was a bit unfit and needed to exercise more" she laughed, "To discover that I had a tumour on my chest wall that was pressing on my lung was a shock.

"I was healthy in all other respects."

The discovery was extremely timely and as she says, if it hadn't been found she wouldn't be telling this story.

"It it hadn't been found I would have been dead by August," she said.

Once discovered her treatment began and because of the tumour's size she's had to have a mastectomy of her left breast amongst a whole raft of other treatments.

"I've had to have chemotherapy, and I'm on tablets for the rest of my life," she said.

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Mrs Walker said that her family history of breast cancer was only unveiled once she realised that she too had it.

"I'm adopted so it's way back and I wasn't aware of it until I got tested myself," she said.

"My aunty and my grandmother both had their left breasts removed," she added.

Just before going into surgery Mrs Walker met with McGrath Breast Care Nurse in Orange Sue Kuter who she described as fantastic.

"I see Sue every time that I go into Orange to see my oncologist," she said.

Blayney's McGrath Breast Screen Nurse Marita Tipene is based out of Bathurst's Daffodil Cottage and visits the town every week to visit her patients.

"Many people don't realise the services of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse are available entirely for free and without a referral - it's as simple as checking the McGrath Foundation website for our contact details," she said.

Contact Daffodil Cottage Bathurst on 02 6330 5340