Published Tuesday, 18 September 2012
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The Co Down hairdresser shared her story at the launch of Breast Cancer Awareness month on Tuesday.
Inez Fowler was diagnosed with stage three cancer last year after a mammogram at Action Cancer in Belfast.
She used the service because she fell outside the NHS screening programme's age bracket of 50 - 70 years.
Inez said of her initial reaction: "I was gutted, very gutted and I thought there was only one way to beat this, either sink or swim, and I just thought I am going to swim.
"I had the mammogram done. Coming out I said to my friend, 'there is something wrong'. I had this gut feeling.
The 46-year-old listened to her gut instinct - and it proved to be right.
A mere two weeks later, she was called back to the Ulster Hospital for biopsies and blood tests.
Inez continued: "The consultant said, 'Mrs Fowler, you have breast cancer and you will need surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.'"
Before she left the consultant's office, she told him: "I am a very young woman and I am going to fight this because I have too many tables to dance on yet."
Inez finished her treatment earlier this year, in February, and now has regular checkups.
The battler says she owes the charity everything.
"Action Cancer saved my life and if it was not for them, I just don't know.
"October now is Breast Care Awareness month. My birthday is October, my daughter's birthday is October."
Inez says that if she had not availed of the charity's services, there would be no birthdays celebrated.
Action Cancer screened 8'000 women last year.
Joanna Currie, the radiographer who scanned Inez, said: "We are x-raying people every day, six or seven out of every thousand we x-ray are diagnosed with breast cancer.
"But really meeting somebody like Inez does help us to go forward in our jobs. We are all passionate about what we do here."