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Early detection saves lives
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Noah, Emmett, Shananne, and Willow.

Shananne Field is a happy and healthy mother of two beautiful children: Noah, 4, and Willow, 3. However, the path to motherhood and good health hasn’t been easy for her. In 2017, the Mornington Peninsula resident miscarried twins and felt the depth of unspoken grief that comes with miscarriage. Joy came later that year with the birth of Noah.

In 2018, Shananne was thrilled to be pregnant with her second child – until her life was flipped upside down with a diagnosis of breast cancer. She was 37. “Being a young woman, breast cancer wasn’t on my radar,” Shananne says. “I knew people that had breast cancer, but they were much older. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young women in Australia. I never knew that until it happened to me.”

It was only when Shananne mentioned her breast was sore to her obstetrician that a screening and diagnosis followed. “I was cuddling Noah in bed one morning and I felt a little bit sore. I asked my obstetrician, ‘Do you think it’s a blocked milk duct?’ She said, ‘Let’s do an ultrasound and see.’ Within two weeks I had a full diagnosis and was in hospital having surgery.”

Shananne credits the love and support of her husband Emmett, her family, and friends for getting her through cancer treatment. Shananne’s other key supports were her McGrath Breast Care Nurse, and Breast Cancer Network Australia. “BCNA is fantastic. It changed our life through that difficult time. In hospital my McGrath Breast Care Nurse introduced me to BCNA. The information from BCNA is relevant to Australia, it’s easy to understand, and evidence-based. When you go on the internet it can be daunting because what you see isn’t always relevant to Australia.”

Shananne and Willow.

BCNA is a not-for-profit organisation that provides advocacy, connection, support, and information for those affected by breast cancer. “When I had radiation therapy, BCNA put us in touch with a meal service. It meant we could just come home after treatment to a home-cooked meal every night. The radiation made me so fatigued, as well as having two little babies. For my healing, having that support was so amazing for me and for Emmett.”

A key fundraiser for BCNA is the annual Pink Bun campaign in partnership with Bakers Delight. The campaign runs until May 18 and has been going for 22 years. To help BCNA be the voice for all Australians affected by breast cancer, grab a Pink Fun Bun six-pack or collect all three Fun Bun Friends at your local Bakers Delight, or host a Pink Bun Party fundraiser with your workplace, school, social or community group. All money from Fun Bun sales goes to BCNA. 

Today Shananne is cancer-free. “My treatment was a success. I had surgery, hormone therapy and radiation therapy. I’m on hormone therapy for 10 years. After having cancer I’m healthier than I’ve ever been because I don’t let anything slide. Keep up those appointments that you think ‘I’ll wait until next month to do that’.”