I'm very fortunate to have ever known my paternal grandmother.
She had breast cancer before I was born, but thanks to some excellent medical care - and probably a little luck - she was treated successfully and it never returned.
Back in the late 1960s, when my grandmother was diagnosed, treatment options were much more limited than they are today. A mastectomy, followed by some radiation therapy, was about the only option Grandma had available to her.
In the half century since, the treatments for breast cancer have improved massively, and the survival rates are much better.
But one thing hasn't changed. Early detection is still vital in offering the best options for treatment.
One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the time they are 85. It remains the most common cancer in women.
For most women, the best form of early detection is a mammogram and they are recommended for those aged between 50 and 74.
In Wagga right now, having a mammogram means taking a trip to the Calvary Hospital precinct.
It's a tucked away location that you have to make an effort to visit.
That's a big part of the reason that the old pet store in Berry Street has been transformed into the new BreastScreen location: It's right in the middle of the CBD and pretty much impossible to ignore when you drive past.
Short of adding some neon lights, there isn't much more they could do to make the location obvious.
I know cancer screenings are a little confronting. No woman looks forward to a PAP smear and I'm going to guess blokes feel the same way about prostate checks, but these regular screenings remain some of the best defences we have.
Nine out of 10 women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease. There is no room for complacency when it comes to this insidious disease.
According to BreastScreen NSW, mammograms are the most effective test for the early detection of breast cancer.
A mammogram can detect breast cancers before they can be seen or felt, and the smaller a patient's cancer is at the time of diagnosis, the more options they will have for treatment.
Treatment is also more likely to be less invasive; patients whose breast cancer is detected early are much less likely to need a mastectomy or chemotherapy, the organisation says.
Those of us with a family history of breast cancer have probably been reminded from any early age about the importance of regular self-checks and mammograms when it's appropriate, but it is worth remembering that statistics show that nine out of 10 women who develop breast cancer actually have no family history of the illness.
That's worth repeating: Nine out of 10 women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease. There is no room for complacency when it comes to this insidious disease.
Yet, it is estimated that about 400,000 women in NSW aged between 50 and 74 have not had a mammogram in the past two years. The screenings are free and from next month, there will be a BreastScreen location open smack bang in the middle of Wagga, so no excuses.
Of course, the other thing we need to do is self-exams at home. Any lumps, bumps and changes are worth bringing to the attention of a GP. About 90 per cent of these changes will be non-cancerous, but again having them checked out early is vital.
And while we're talking about self-checking the breasts, blokes aren't off the hook either.
Male breast cancer may be rare, but it does happen and just as women need to be aware of any changes, so do men.
According to the Cancer Council's most recent statistics - from 2014 - 140 Australian men were diagnosed with breast cancer and this figure is expected to rise as our population ages.
In 2016, 28 men died of breast cancer in Australia, so it might be rare, but it does happen. Breast cancer may predominantly affect women, but it is not "just a women's disease" and dismissing it as such means we run the risk of marginalising and overlooking the men who have it.
If you're eligible for a mammogram, please go and have one and keep checking on things yourself in between times.
Early detection literally can save lives.