SIXTIES icon Marsha Hunt stood up on a table in the Mater Private Hospital yesterday simply to let everyone see she had survived breast cancer.
It's exactly two years since the model turned novelist finished 18 months of chemotherapy, radiation and herceptin therapy at the hospital. "I got up on the table for you to see I'm alive," said Ms Hunt (62), who has a daughter with Mick Jagger. "Triple assessment kept me alive."
The Mater Private Hospital officially opened its new Specialist Breast Centre yesterday, offering best-practice triple-assessment diagnosis, combined with new digital mammography facilities, in one unit. Triple-assessment is touted as the most efficient way to achieve rapid diagnosis and treatment, which is a key factor in survival.
Consultant radiologist Fidelma Flanagan said it was also being offered through the public system, and had been highlighted as a key goal for the Centres of Excellence outlined in the National Cancer Control Programme. It involves the clinical examination by the surgeon; the radiologist's mammogram and ultrasound; and then the pathological findings from the biopsy. "What a unit like this has done is try to expedite, so that the woman can have all of that done in one day," said Mr Flanagan.
Ms Hunt, who penned a book 'Undefeated' on her experiences, revealed that after realising she had a problem, she put off seeking treatment for five months. By then, she had third-stage cancer."You wonder had I been not ridiculous and gone in June might I just be looking at first stage."