'I was doing yoga and found a lump': Woman's cancer warning
IT DOESN'T matter if you're in your 30s, eat healthy and exercise regularly - breast cancer can still happen.
It was a message former Toowoomba resident Elysha Rei discovered as she went through her morning yoga routine.
"I was actually doing yoga one morning and was coming out of a pose and found a lump, she said.
"I didn't think much of it because I had no family history and I'm young.
"I didn't feel sick or find it painful, so I just went to the doctor for peace of mind."
After a month of scans and tests, the doctor finally ordered a biopsy, which came back positive for a grade three cancer that was luckily caught in stage one before it metastasised.
Ms Rei, best known in Toowoomba for her hard work helping to build the city's art scene through projects like Made Creative Space, said things were different for people in their 20s and 30s with cancer.
Where women aged over 40 are encouraged to have regular check-ups thanks to their age, it was only through vigilance that hers was picked up.
The other big difference was fertility. The majority of 40-year-old and 50-year-old women are done with having kids.
Ms Rei has one son, Kairo, but wasn't certain she was finished having children.
That left her the option of preserving eggs, which meant going through hormonal injections and egg harvesting before she could start chemotherapy.
She was grateful even for that experience because it wouldn't be possible for many women thanks to the treatments being reliant on cycles which might not coincide with the urgency of cancer treatment.
She successfully harvested 13 eggs, but thanked her own vigilance for that opportunity.
"This is why I'm telling everyone I know to be vigilant and check," Ms Rei said.
"It felt like a little hard lump and it wasn't painful even though the three things they use to rule out cancer is whether it is painful, immobile and fast growing."