Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia apart from non-melanoma skin cancer. Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer can come as a huge shock as many women don’t experience any symptoms of the disease.

After your diagnosis you could be feeling overwhelmed with both emotions and information. It could even feel like your world has just been turned upside down. A thousand questions demand attention and all kinds of decisions need to be made at a time when both psychological and emotional equilibrium are upset.

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it not only affects that person but also impacts everyone who loves them. While some people decide not to share their diagnosis with anyone, others will immediately reach out for support and understanding. People can react very differently. There’s no right or wrong way to respond.

Journey of Self-Discovery

The ‘gift’ of cancer can be a journey of self-discovery, self-healing and self-accomplishment. In this way, regardless of the outcome of the illness, the destination can become a sense of deep and profound peace. To achieve this peace is a victory beyond words.

The best way to face a cancer diagnosis is with good emotional support and information that de-mystifies the strange and fearful world of cancer. Armed with the information it becomes possible to proceed with a sense of calmness to help deal emotionally with the journey ahead and the many questions, choices and decisions.

Discussing all aspects of the disease and treatment with doctors and specialists is encouraged.

What is Breast Cancer?

  • Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells in the breast.
  • These cells grow uncontrollably and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body
  • Both men and women can develop breast cancer, although it is uncommon in men.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Some people experience no symptoms and the cancer is discovered during a physical examination by a doctor or mammogram screening.

If you do have symptoms, they could include:

  • New lumps or thickening in the breast or under the arm
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Rash or red swelling of the breast
  • Nipple sores
  • Nipple discharge or turning in

Immediate Help

Speak with your GP or other trusted and qualified health professional.
For crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
Cancer Council


There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for breast cancer. Treatment options include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. It can take time to discover the best treatment for each person, so it’s best to work closely with your (holistic) GP or other trusted and qualified health professional to find what works for you.

In addition, what were once thought of as ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ treatments are now widely acknowledged as being integral to a person’s healing regimen. When we actively engage in a fulfilling life and take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, we create the ideal physiology in which our health can be maintained or regained.

Factors That Contribute to a Positive Healing Outcome

Many factors contribute to a positive healing outcome for people with cancer. These factors can help you begin or continue your journey of recovery:

  • Addressing physical as well as the emotional distress, isolation and frustration that may accompany a chronic illness
  • Improving nutrition, exercise and sleep levels along with other healthy lifestyle practices
  • Guidance in managing the emotional rollercoaster of exhaustion, frustration and isolation
  • Meditation and living mindfully can stimulate your immune system to function optimally
  • Rest and patience are two essential components of recovery

Over the past 35 years, Quest for Life has worked with tens of thousands of people living with the impact that cancer has on their lives and who are looking to actively contribute to their own healing. We have found the greatest antidote to cancer is to be fully engaged in living the life you came here to live.

How Quest for Life Can Help

While medical teams focus on eradicating disease, Quest for Life’s focus is on empowering people to heal. Quest can help through:

  • Our 5-day residential Quest for Life program. This program provides a recipe for peace and healing no matter your circumstance or challenge. You’ll be nourished, educated and supported to adopt a healthy lifestyle which creates an environment for profound healing.
  • Our Self-Paced Online CoursesBefriending Anxiety; Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep – provide practical, positive and easy to follow guidance and advice. They encourage and help you to identify and implement strategies to build your resilience, and to incorporate these into your own personal plan for each course.

Quest for Life knows how to help: our research results show that participants experience a 28% increase in quantified mental wellbeing after attending a program and that this improvement increases over time.

Chemical-Free Environment

At Quest we recognise that many people being treated for cancer may have chemical sensitivities. No chemicals are used in the grounds or buildings at Quest to ensure a safe and healthy environment for people with life-threatening illnesses.


Some of these practices can help you to calm your mind, improve your wellbeing and can be found on our Toolkit page:

  • Keys to improve the quality of your sleep
  • Meditation practices
  • What to do when someone you love has cancer

Petrea King Podcasts may be helpful:

  • Tony Delroy Nightlife – Beyond Chronic Pain
  • Dealing with a difficult diagnosis
  • Relax better and reduce stress using mindfulness
  • Eating well in times of stress
  • Talking Lifestyle Radio: Petrea’s life and Quest’s approach to healing

Wellbeing Resources

Petrea King Books including

  • Spirited Women – Journeys with Breast Cancer
  • Quest for Life – a handbook for people with Cancer and Life-Threatening Illnesses
  • Sometimes Hearts Have to Break
  • Your Life Matters – a guidebook for life
  • Food for Life eBook

Meditations including

  • Be Calm, Sleep, Learning to Meditate

Related Articles

If you are living with Breast Cancer, fill in the Contact Form below and one of our Program Advisors will be in touch to answer your questions or to ascertain the most appropriate program for your needs.