Bianca Hinton was living her dream working as a videographer and had plans to move to America when her world was turned upside down.
After Christmas she was diagnosed with ‘aggressive’ triple negative breast cancer when a 2cm tumour was found.
The fit and healthy 25-year-old from the Gold Coast said her only symptom was a ‘hard, round lump’ on her left breast that ‘appeared out of nowhere’.
Bianca, who has no family history of the disease, told FEMAIL she first noticed the lump while on a holiday cruise around Papua New Guinea with her family.
‘I got out of the shower and was drying off with a towel when I felt it. So I told my mum and she was immediately concerned,’ she said.
Now Bianca is on a mission to alert others about the common warning signs and to be diligent with health checks.
Videographer Bianca Hinton was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer earlier this year after a 2cm tumour was found in her left breast
The prognosis came as a complete shock as the 25-year-old doesn’t have any family history of cancer or disease
Luckily Bianca and her family were at the end of their holiday so she was able to visit a doctor within a few days of finding the lump.
‘I went with mum to the GP who did a physical breast exam but didn’t say much – in hindsight he might’ve known. I had an ultrasound the same day,’ she said.
Following two biopsies and testing Bianca was told she had cancer.
‘The timing of it all was so awkward because it was between Christmas and New Years. But I remained positive and presumed I’d have surgery to get it sorted out,’ she said.
‘I didn’t really worry about it and didn’t feel sick at all. I felt normal.’
At the time she was fit and healthy working as a videographer and had plans to relocated overseas to America
On January 9 while at a fertility clinic she was given an official diagnosis to confirm the type of cancer.
‘It was an intense day. I was considering saving some of my eggs but when I was given the results from my PET scan doctors urged me to start treatment sooner than later,’ she said.
‘I decided not to delay chemo because I had to put my life before anything else.
‘It’s not impossible to have kids after treatment, it just lowers your chances, so there’s still hope.’
Bianca said triple negative breast cancer is considered life threatening because its aggressive and accelerates the rate at which the cancer can grow and spread.
Common symptoms included breast lumps, swelling, breast or nipple pain, dimpled skin and nipple discharge.
Two days after the prognosis, Bianca met with an oncologist to discuss a treatment plan, opting for six months of intensive chemotherapy.
Bianca said triple negative breast cancer is ‘considered life threatening because its aggressive’ and accelerates the rate at which the cancer can grow and spread
‘I’ve had 12 weeks of weekly treatment and am now in my last phase of a potent dosage,’ she said. Bianca hopes sharing her story will impact the lives of others
What is triple-negative breast cancer?
Triple-negative breast cancer is cancer that tests negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and excess HER2 protein
These results mean the growth of the cancer is not fuelled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone
This cancer does not respond to hormonal therapy medicines
Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy
‘I’ve had 12 weeks of weekly treatment and am now in my last phase of a potent dosage,’ she said.
Medical research and treatment for this disease has improved, improving survival rates. However, Bianca said early detection is key.
‘My follow-up scans that I’ll be doing in a few weeks time will determine the success and outcome of my diagnosis. I’m feeling positive though,’ she said.
Following chemotherapy and testing she’ll likely have a double mastectomy to reduce the chances of the cancer returning.
‘Everything’s been happening so quickly I haven’t had a chance to think about it. It’s been five months but it still hasn’t hit me yet,’ she said.
Bianca says the ‘hardest thing’ about the whole ordeal is seeing how the prognosis has impacted her loved ones.
‘Seeing what this has put my family through is tough, but I’m grateful for their ongoing support.’
Bianca hopes sharing her story will impact the lives of others.
‘There’s no criteria for breast cancer – just because you’re young doesn’t make you invincible,’ she said.
‘And early detection is everything, so make sure you’re checking yourself regularly.’
How to self-examine your breasts:
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
- Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:
- Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
- A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: Now raise your arms and look for the same changes
Step 3: While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood)
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting
Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower
Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4