LINDA Millard's personal battle against breast cancer was harrowing enough, yet it was the toll it took on her family that upset her the most.
Believing breast cancer didn't run in her family, the 58-year-old ignored a lump in her breast for several months before diagnosis in 2010.
"I regret putting it off when I knew something wasn't right; I really don't know why we do such silly things," she says.
Mrs Millard, of Werribee, is one of eight Victorian women who have shared their story for a range of short films produced by BreastScreen Victoria.
BreastScreen Victoria CEO Vicki Pridmore says the organisation has also made a four-minute film looking at the mammogram process. "These stories highlight the screening experiences of a woman with a disability, an Aboriginal woman, a regional woman and women who survived breast cancer."
The films were launched at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville last week in the hope of spreading the message that mammograms are an important tool in the fight against breast cancer. The location was chosen to encourage women in the area to take part in screening as participation in the western suburbs of Melbourne is less than 50percent. One in nine Australian women is affected by breast cancer and women over 50 are at the highest risk.
Mrs Millard had a mastectomy, which stopped the cancer from spreading through her body. She is now recovering well.
For more information or to book a mammogram, call 132050.
The short films can be viewed at the BreastScreen Victoria website: breastscreen.org.au