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'I beat breast cancer'

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Breast cancer examine

Living with breast cancer

The first thing I would say to anyone diagnosed with breast cancer, is not to panic. It's amazing what doctors can do these days.

There's a history of breast cancer in my family, so when I found a lump one day, while I was in the shower, I took it seriously. I went straight to see my GP, who referred me to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey. I was given a mammogram and an ultrasound, then called in a week later to get the results.

I took my husband with me. As soon as I heard the words 'breast cancer', my brain just stopped working and I didn't hear any more.

For the next few weeks, I cried a lot. But the staff at the Marsden were brilliant. There was always someone I could talk to.

My breast cancer treatment involved having a lumpectomy, where they removed the lymph nodes from under my left arm. It was impossible to say whether they'd got every single cancer cell, so I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well.

I'm in remission now and, although it hasn't been easy, I've got through it and am now looking to the future.
Sue Hadfield, 39, Epsom Downs, Surrey

For more information and advice, visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk

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- Woman & Home: Why we're giving back for Breast Cancer

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charlie 21

i was diagnosed with breast cancer in may 2011 i had a mastectomy on my birthday in june but the consultant found i had cancer in my other breast so i had another mastectomy in july. I suffered lots of infections and now i am half way through my chemotherepy. I have suffered all the side effects and i am very anemic i keep having blood tranfusions and i just want it all to end. i will have reconstuctive surgery in the future but i am very apprehensive and scared of the problems with reconstuction. I have been put on a ten year recovery plan and i am under the christie hospital in manchester

shonagh bertram

i was 27 when i was diagnosed with breast cancer, i had been wearing a too small bra which had rubbed and was sore,when i went to rub it better i discovered a 2cm sized hard lump which wasnt sore, i went to the doctor the next day who refered me to the hospital, i then had a 6 week wait for my appointment, when it finally came through i was a nervous wreck and took my husband with me, i was given a biopsy but was told by the doctor that he was 99% certain it was nothing but had to go back on the wednesday, when i went back i was told they had found abnormal cells and i would have to go for a core biopsy, chest xray, and mamogramme, then i was told to come back on the saturday, they then told me i had grade 3 breast cancer and they would have to treat it aggresivly, i went in for my opp 2 weeks later where i had a lumpectomy and all my lymph nodes under my left arm removed, i was lucky that it hadnt spread to my lymph nodes but because i was so young they were going to atack it with chemo therapy called epirubicin for 4 sessions then 5 weeks of radio therapy then 4 sessions of CMF, i was very ill during the chemo and as i had 3 young children aged 10, 5 and 3 at the time i needed a lot of help and support which i got my family and friends were fantastic, i am now 5 years down the road and things are going well i am now able to have a week at times when i dont think about it, i still get yearly check ups to keep me right but......life has gone on and i have to go with it. shonagh bertram

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