I had a wonderful sister Julie, she was 3 years older than I. Two weeks after her 50th birthday she found a lump in her left breast, it was quite large, she underwent a radical mastectomy and lymph clearance. She also had polycystic kidney disease which meant treatment was not a real option in her opinion. She died just after her 51st birthday. I went along to have a mammogram a couple of months after she died. I was 48, had never found any lumps on breast self examination and was totally stunned when the results came back abnormal. I had a wide local excision to remove the atypical columnar hyperplastic cells. Every year I have my check up and so far so good. I owe my life to my sister. Her death made me go and have the test that showed up abnormal. Julie left behind three beautiful children, two of whom have since her death had beautiful babies that unfortunately she will never know. There was no family history of breast cancer as far as I can determine and even with breast self examination I still had no idea that I had a potential problem.
Julie will live on in the hearts and the memories of all those who she came in contact with, she was a very special lady.