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Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with 1 in 7 Australian women and 1 in 600 Australian men expected to be diagnosed within their lifetime.

Doing a ‘quick self-check’ in the shower one day, Rachael found a lump in her breast. A mammogram, ultrasound and fine needle biopsy followed, and within two weeks Rachael received the devastating diagnosis of Stage 1 HER2 Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer, with no family history of breast cancer.

“I was a super fit 35-year-old, building my career… so you kind of go into denial, like no, this cannot be happening. This is not happening to me,” Rachael said.

Rachael and Seth

Thankfully, the intense chemotherapy shrank her tumours enough that Rachael was able to have lumpectomy surgery rather than a full mastectomy, followed by five weeks of radiation and further 12 months of targeted therapy, to keep the cancer at bay.

More than three years on from her initial diagnosis, Rachael is a strong advocate for raising awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

“Do the self-checks and get medical advice if something doesn’t feel right, because cancer is never just about you, it’s about everyone close to you too...”

Thank you for your support of Mater Prize Home. You are helping patients like Rachael on their cancer journey, as well as enabling Mater research teams to conduct vital research, which could bring hope of a brighter future to so many.

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