Surviving breast cancer with Deb Eccleston

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Your shout’s Deb Eccleston opens up about her fight with one of Australia’s deadliest diseases.

‘I’m sorry but it’s breast cancer’ – these words will be heard by 43 women today as they begin the battle of their lives. They are the same words Deb Eccleston heard 11 years ago when a lump in her breast turned out to be an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, running from the 1-31 October, plays a vital role in teaching women how to recognise the signs of breast cancer as well as providing breast cancer survivors, like Deb, a platform to share their stories.

Listen to Deb’s full story below.


‘Get yourself checked’ is Deb’s message as she comes up to her eleventh anniversary of receiving the news that changed her life.

“Finding a lump began a journey that I’ve never encountered before,” Deb said.

“It was about three weeks of not knowing – you go for the biopsy, the scans and the mammograms but it’s not until the day that you get that information that you know what you’re dealing with.

“So I implore all women – if you find something suspicious just get it checked because you’re never too young to get breast cancer – I was only 33 years old and I’ve heard of people much younger getting it.”

Deb is far from alone in her experience with one in eight Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime – even Deb’s doctor had her own breast cancer story.

“When my doctor told me, I cried and then she said to me, ‘I know what you’re going through because I was going through it myself four years ago,” Deb said. 

“Because my doctor had that experience, she was so adamant about getting it checked out straight away because she knew – she’d been through it herself.”

While breast cancer predominantly affects women over 45 years old, incidences of breast cancer in younger women still make up 25% of diagnoses in Australia.

Deb found a lack of support groups for women under 45 years old, so she created her own group with her doctor, Caroline. Sassy Survivors is currently on a hiatus after eight years of supporting women with breast cancer but many like it have sprung up since including the Mater Chicks in Pink.

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