A Perth woman who became the youngest breast cancer patient to be treated at Royal Perth Hospital has urged others to double check their symptoms after she was told by doctors not to worry.
Sammy Talbot is in the fight of her life to beat the disease after she was diagnosed with aggressive, stage three breast cancer a week after her 25th birthday.
But Ms Talbot said she first found lumps two years ago – when she was just 23 – only to be told that because of her age and a lack of family history with breast cancer, that it was not a major concern.
She was even prescribed anti anxiety medication.
Ms Talbot said it was her persistence to get to the bottom of the problem that finally resulted in a diagnosis.
Three tumours were found in her right breast, the biggest measuring up at almost eight centimetres long.
She required emergency surgery to remove her breast and has now taken the tough decision to remove her other breast after tests to find out if she carried the BRCA gene came back inconclusive.
BRCA, an abbreviation for BReast CAncer gene, are mutations that have been found to impact a person’s chances of developing breast cancer.
And without a clear answer Ms Talbot, didn’t want to take any risks.
She has chosen to go through IVF and have her eggs harvested as well as booking in a second mastectomy for later this week.
“Everything goes into that white noise .. and she told me that I have breast cancer,” she told 7 News Perth.
“Losing your hair.. losing your breast.. yeah.. it was massive for me.
“I thought that I was crazy. They made me out to think that I was a hypochondriac.
“I felt there was something wrong with my body and they were making me feel like I couldn’t trust myself with that. Or perhaps that I was imagining symptoms that weren’t there.”
But Ms Talbot wants to use the experience to encourage others to check and double check when they feel something is wrong.
Across Australia each year, around 60 women aged between 25 and 29 are diagnosed with breast cancer and she wants to ensure they all get the treatment they need.
“Raise your concerns,” she said.
“Seek second opinions or third opinions if you need to.”