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Breast cancer shock for Camerons
ABC Radio breakfast host Eoin Cameron at home in South Perth with his wife Wendy. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Wendy Cameron kept her composure when she was diagnosed with breast cancer right up until the clinician delivering the news gave her a sympathetic look.

At that point the 63-year-old wife of ABC 720 breakfast host Eoin Cameron allowed her calm facade to crack.

"I wasn't actually too bad," she told _The Weekend West _ from her South Perth home yesterday, filled with the children and grandchildren who have rallied around her after the news.

"I can go into resigned mode and think, 'It is what it is'. But then the clinician said 'this is the date of your appointment with the surgeon' and then she looked sympathetically at me and when anyone does that to me, I fall apart.

"So I did. It's a bit of a shock."

The couple went public with the news yesterday, a mere 24 hours after being given the diagnosis - a day Cameron described on his radio show as "the worst of my life". Their hope is that Mrs Cameron's story will encourage other women to have regular health checks, including mammograms.

Cameron, who has spoken candidly about other personal events in his life such as being sexually abused in a Catholic boarding school and his diagnosis with bi-polar disorder, said the news had been devastating.

"When it happens to me, I can deal with it," he said. "But when it's something out of my control, I hate it."

He said he was pleased his wife of more than 40 years was talking about her diagnosis, given how therapeutic he had found talking about his abuse after decades of silence.

For Mrs Cameron, the cancer is the latest in a long line of misfortunes to hit her family.

In a car accident last month, Cameron broke three ribs and part of his back, a fall last year required the radio host to have brain surgery and an accidental overprescription of blood pressure pills saw Cameron rushed to hospital, "saying his goodbyes" to his wife as she drove the car.

Mrs Cameron said she had been diligent about having regular mammograms in part because of a breast cancer scare 20 years ago, which proved to be a false alarm.

Two years ago, her sister was also diagnosed and has since experienced treatment and recovery - an outcome that gives Mrs Cameron hope as she prepares to begin a similar journey.

Mrs Cameron is still waiting on some results from tests but said she was already booked in to see a surgeon next week and expected an operation to remove the lump and some of the surrounding tissue would happen soon after.

The next step would be a six-week course of radiotherapy and physiotherapy.

Only after the surgery is she likely to learn how advanced the cancer is.

According to BreastScreen WA, women in Australia have a one in eight risk of developing breast cancer.

Women over 40 are eligible for a free mammograms every two years.

Mrs Cameron said her case highlighted the importance of regular testing because she had not felt a lump or suspected anything was wrong until she was recalled after a routine mammogram.

"I had nothing that was obvious to me, no difference: it was purely having a regular mammogram that picked it up," she said.

"This is what I'm trying to get out to people."