Shining lights for Breast Cancer Awareness

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Dr Amanda Blinco, Treasure Hodgetts and Mel Scott.

Dr Amanda Blinco, Treasure Hodgetts and Mel Scott.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so it is fitting that this week’s unsung heroes are the team at BreastScreen Queensland (BSQ) Cairns Service.

Local woman Treasure Hodgetts nominated them after receiving ‘the best service’ during a recent cancer diagnosis.

‘Receiving the email reminder for my two-yearly breast screen probably changed my life,’ said Treasure.

‘I’m a workaholic and never go to a doctor so that reminder was the key, being so busy I wouldn’t have got round to booking it myself'.

A 3cm aggressive tumour was found.

Two of the staff who looked after me were nurse Mel Scott and Dr Amanda Blinco. During my stressful appointments Mel coordinated everything and took time to explain everything, do the paperwork and support me.

Dr Amanda is so bubbly and happy and beautiful, it made me relaxed straight away. I’m very thankful to both of them'.

Dr Amanda Blinco, Clinical Director at BSQ Cairns is pleased Treasure’s cancer story went well and appreciates the positive feedback for the team.

‘Being diagnosed with breast cancer really is a life-changing moment but it doesn’t have to be the catastrophe people expect it to be,’ she said.

‘One of our goals is to try and make the process as smooth and supportive as possible so it’s nice to hear from Treasure that we are getting there.

We want BreastScreen to be a good story trying to find cancers when they are tiny, and women have lots of options and better health outcomes. They are relatively easily treated so we can get women back to work and back to normal life quickly.

At BSQ Cairns, we screen more than 15,000 women for breast cancer each year, but only 55% of eligible women in Queensland participate. We would love to see this increase.’

Women aged between 50 and 74 are strongly recommended to have a breast screen every two years, as this is the age group that benefits most from screening. Women in their 40s and those over 75 are also eligible for the free service every two years.

Appointments can be made by phoning 13 20 50 or online at – a GP referral is not required