Just a few minutes of your time every two years could save your life, according to a Maribyrnong cancer survivor.

A regular breast appointment screen made all the difference for Helen Chenhall, who was diagnosed with breast cancer after attending a BreastScreen Victoria clinic for a free mammogram.

The 56-year-old said her story showed why women over 50 should be pro-active in getting their free mammograms every two years.

“I had no signs at all,” she said. “I didn’t have any lumps and I felt fine – I was healthy and had been to the doctor. It was just through a mammogram that it was picked up.”

Ms Chenhall said the screening was a straightforward procedure and a more detailed screening would follow if any abnormalities were picked up.

“If there is something there, they have a doctor to explain what is happening and a counsellor there you can talk to and discuss your options,” she said.

Eight years from her diagnosis, Ms Chenhall remains free of cancer and actively encourages other women to make sure they attend regular screenings even if they feel well.

“Pick a day and take a girlfriend or a group of girlfriends and do something nice afterwards like having lunch,” she said.

“You are more likely to stick to it if you make that commitment to your friends and your friends will go as they don’t want to let you down.

“Then if anything is found you have your support group there already.”

BreastScreen Victoria’s Footscray clinic at 77 Paisley Street is open Monday to Thursday. Bookings: breastscreen.org.au or 13 20 50