Discover how Alison, a brave HCA nurse, defeated breast cancer and her inspiring advice!


Today we want to post about an inspiring story of Alison Kristensen, who has been with HCA family as a Registered Nurse for 20 years as well as Clinical Nurse positions in Hospitals & at Australian Defence Force (contractor). In March 2015, Alison was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Alison wanted to share her story to create awareness to encourage women to check their Breasts.

Alison had no family history of breast cancer but decided to have a mammogram when she noticed her nipple looked ‘abnormal’ in the mirror and felt a felt a mass in right breast. Alison had not had a mammogram prior at 48 years of age because she never noticed any worrying symptoms. A simple check in her mirror one day changed her whole life as she described the whole experience as ‘Surreal and traumatizing’.

Shortly after the diagnosis Alison had a mastectomy to remove the breast as well as radical axillary lymph node dissection to remove any cancerous lymph nodes 

We called Alison to hear more about her story, what makes her tick and to hear some wonderful advice from her. You can read further in the interview below:

Interviewer:  Why did you first get into Nursing? What do you love most about the job/ working with HCA?

Alison: I grew up in England and I knew since I was a young student that I want to work and live in order to have a positive impact on other people’s life.

(Alison is a Mental Health Nurse & loves the work life balance that HCA offers amongst other opportunities over the years and ongoing)

A: I loved HCA for the work-life balance opportunities that this company gives to its collaborators. Thanks to HCA I had a lot of career opportunities and I had also the opportunity to inspire young student becoming a teacher and mentor for them in my specialty.

I: Do you have any advice for other women going through similar life experiences?

A: I never thought that it would happen to me, I will never forget the phone call where the doctor told me “Alison, you have breast cancer.” I have fought since day one, it is a mindset and I have tried to be always positive!

I: Is there anything else you would like to tell everyone?

A: I want to emphasize two very important points for everyone reading this;

(1) Exercise is my medicine, it should be a part of your daily life as it helps you as it helps you to stay positive and to continue to have a normal life even during the health issue. The attitude and mentality that exercising will build are going to be crucial to fighting against the disease.

(2) Everyone should check their breasts regularly & have mammogram as per Drs advice.

If you wish to see more of Alison’s Journey, she has created a fantastic hashtag on Instagram called #exerciseismymedicine and you can even contribute yourself to also help raise awareness of the message. Alison, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. It was lovely to speak to you and to hear learn about your journey.