Paula Rooney

Paula Rooney


Paula Rooney, from Raheny, Co Dublin, was diagnosed with breast cancer In 2013 and attended the breast clinic at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. “I’d had various lumps over the years but they had always been benign so I didn’t think much of this one. I had the lump a long time – I noticed it in September, but my dad was dying so I thought nothing of it. It was a bit different than before because my nipple was inverted. That had me a bit worried, but I still left it to go to my GP until January. My GP sent me for a mammogram, and they did a biopsy there and then.”

Paula was referred to Professor Hill, Lead Clinician, Beaumont Hospital Breast Service. “When I was told I had cancer,” she recalls, “I had myself dead and buried, and I just ran out of the hospital to the car park. I rang my husband, shouted into the phone, hung up and drove home. I went back in to get various tests done. Professor Hill said I had a 98% chance that I was going to pull through, so I just ran with it, and I never looked back after that day.”

Paula admits she didn’t have a strong awareness of breast cancer before her diagnosis. “You don’t until it’s on your doorstep. Obviously, I checked myself previously because I was prone to getting lumps, but I came across the recent one accidentally. That’s all I talk about now – I would say to women to download the app and get yourself checked. It’s not going to be the end of the world. Go now. It is treatable. The percentage is huge for a successful outcome. You need to do it now before you get yourself into the zone where there’s no coming back from it.”

Early detection is the best response, reasons Paula. “If you’ve cancer somewhere else in your body, it’s going to be harder to detect, but breast cancer is the one you can spot yourself, and you can get the help that’s required.”

(Originally printed in Woman’s Way, October 2016.)