Shepparton News

Early diagnosis important

AS PART OF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, MOOROOPNA MOTHER TANYA SAVIGE SHARES HER EXPERIENCE OF RECEIVING A CANCER DIAGNOSIS, AND HER TREATMENT

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There’s still quite a road ahead for Tanya Savige in her cancer journey; despite that, you will likely find her with a smile on her face.

“I had one day of ugly crying – you have to have that,” she said with a laugh.

“I was shocked but also that little voice in the back of your head – I knew what she was going to tell me but I didn’t want her to tell me that.

“The thing is, you need to be able to laugh, and I think positive thinking helps with all of that, because chemo is not fun.”

With a history of cancer in her family, the Mooroopna mother said she made sure to check herself regularly and see her GP.

One day she felt a lump and booked an appointmen­t with her GP almost immediatel­y.

“One minute it wasn’t there and then it was, it was bizarre and straight away I booked an appointmen­t with my doctor for two days later,” Tanya said.

“There is a lot of cancer in my family; I was tested for the BRCA gene which I don’t have, thank goodness.

“But it’s surreal, in a way. You do ask yourself that question – and I only did once – ‘why me?’

“It was all a bit of a blur for about a week getting everything organised.

“At the start it was scans and body scans and all that type of thing – that was my life for about the first month.”

Tanya was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in June this year.

Triple negative is a type of breast cancer that does not have any of the three receptors commonly found on breast cancer cells – the oestrogen, progestero­ne and HER2 receptors.

Only about 15 per cent of breast cancers are triple negative.

As part of treatment, Tanya is receiving neoadjuvan­t chemothera­py.

The treatment involves taking chemothera­py drugs before having surgery with the aim to shrink the tumour in the breast, along with any other breast cancer cells that may be present elsewhere in the body.

“But life doesn’t stop for cancer. I still work, not the same amount that I used to, I’ve had to cut back,” Tanya said.

“You can’t sit at home and do nothing because it doesn’t make you feel any better, you end up thinking about it more.

“Work, and my boss, has been really good. Keeping active helps – by the end of the day you are exhausted, but it helps.

“And I’ve met a lot of great people up at the hospital. Even though you’re getting treatment, you get that time to socialise and not everything is about cancer. There is more to me – and everyone there – than cancer.”

For more informatio­n about the types of breast cancer visit bcna.org.au and for more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit

 ?? ?? Tanya Savige, pictured here with her son Raphael Tripoli, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer earlier this year.
Tanya Savige, pictured here with her son Raphael Tripoli, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer earlier this year.

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