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Kate’s Breast Cancer Journey

Kate was a healthy and active 38-year-old mum when out of nowhere, she felt excruciating pain in her right breast.

Kate Shields

In January 2017, after many tests, she was faced with the cold reality of invasive hormonal breast cancer.

“My family and I were devastated and in disbelief. At the beginning it was like this wouldn’t happen to me because I’m young, there’s no history in the family, and you hear of older women experiencing breast cancer. It was a very scary time,” said Kate.

Kate had to endure a long 6-month course of chemotherapy for her treatment.

“I just wanted to be a fighter. But the toughest thing for me was seeing my family suffer. Especially my mum and my 4-year-old daughter, Chloe.”

The aggressive tumour invading Kate’s right breast was estrogen receptor positive.

75 per cent of all breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive, which means the cancer cells grow in response to the hormone estrogen.

Thanks to support of our donor community, Australian Breast Cancer Research is supporting dedicated researchers like Dr Theresa Hickey and her team from the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, who have made lifechanging advances in beating hormonal breast cancer!

Because estrogen receptor positive breast cancer has a targeted treatment, many patients develop resistance, leaving them with no option other than gruelling chemotherapy.

“We know that the major cause of death from breast cancer is resistance to current estrogen receptor target therapies, so through our research we are developing alternative approaches to treat or prevent therapy resistant disease,” said Dr Hickey.

With your support, more people like Kate are surviving breast cancer. But for some women, there is no happy ending.

“Breast cancer affects so many people – mothers, daughters and grandmother’s, and all these people that are going through this. And that’s why research is so important and I’m so grateful for all the research being done, because I’m still here today. The more we know about breast cancer, the more lives we can save,” said Kate.

“Unfortunately, there’re so many other people that don’t get told they are cured, like I did. I would encourage anyone to donate any amount they’ve got, because it can all pull together to help with research. Everything is valued.”

Your support will help us continue supporting researchers like Dr Hickey who dedicate themselves to vital research to beat breast cancer for our mother’s. Our daughters. Our grandmothers. And our families.

“Chloe’s my only child and I’m really protective of her. I would hope that in the future that this wouldn’t exist for my daughter and more families.”