When Nicola St George was 41 years old, she found a lump in her breast and called her doctor immediately
“After my initial ultrasound, I was referred to the Complete Breast Care program at Joseph Brant Hospital. I received a mammogram and ultrasound where I was told that there was something worth investigating,” says Nicola. “After my tests, I met with Dr. Austin who informed me I had breast cancer.”
“When I first received my diagnosis, I was in shock,” she says. “The thought of losing my hair and my breast hit me really hard.”
After numerous tests, Nicola was scheduled to have a lumpectomy and mastectomy. After surgery, she underwent chemotherapy for 12 weeks and Herceptin for a year.
Despite the difficult journey ahead, Nicola felt confident in her doctors. “I felt really connected to Dr. Austin and I had a lot of trust in her. She was so knowledgeable and up to date with her research and always answered all my questions.”
Throughout her treatment Nicola remarks on her care. “The nurses, technicians, doctors and all the staff involved, I can’t say enough about their care. Everyone was kind and compassionate.”
Today, Nicola is feeling happy. “It almost feels like a memory that happened long ago even though it’s recent. I received unwavering support from family and friends,” says Nicola. “My cancer woke me up and put things in my life into perspective. I can’t control what’s going to happen, but I can control how I can take care of myself.”
After her treatment, Dr. Austin connected Nicola with Dense Breasts Canada.
“I advocate for women to learn their breast density and getting mammograms early,” says Nicola, “It’s important for women to be provided with the tools and knowledge to make decisions on their breast health.”