Janette Howard ,wife of John Howard ,the prime minister of Australia, stirred up the hearts of many when she revealed to the public and media for the first time that she had battled cancer almost ten years ago.
A patron of the National Breast Cancer Centre, she was addressing an august gathering of over 800 people at the launch of an all important national breast cancer report.
Over the 'Pink Ribbon' breakfast meeting at Sydney this morning she exhorted women to 'tend to their own health needs and those of their friends'.
In a very dignified manner, Mrs Howard laid bare her heart with the revelation of a personal battle that she had waged with cancer 10 years ago. She clarified that her battle was against cervical cancer and not breast cancer and hoped that her testimonial would clear up media stories of old.
Mrs Howard went on to urge the people gathered there to remind every friend and relative the mammoth responsibility of the message behind the Pink Ribbon-to tackle the issue of breast cancer.
Focussing on the report that was released on the same day she asked the gathering to note that the annual breast cancer rates have almost doubled over the last two decades.Nevertheless the survival rates have thankfully bounded from 71% in the early eighties to 85% in 2004.
She reminded them that early diagnosis is definitely the key to survival.She urged the women that it is imperative to know and recognise changes in the body and to seek medical attention in the event of suspicious looking "bumps" or "spots" appearing in one's body.