It’s likely we’ll all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer in our lifetime. And this year, because of COVID-19, it is estimated that more than 300 women in Wales alone are now living with undiagnosed cancer having missed potentially life-saving mammograms that could have detected breast cancer at an early stage.
Whether it’s your gran, mam, aunt, sister, friend or colleague; we know you love your tribe! Seeing someone you love going through breast cancer is devastating. And even men can get breast cancer as well.
That’s why Tenovus Cancer Care has their back, and yours, every step of the way. Every October we go on a pink mission to raise awareness and money. We need you to go on a mission and Go Pink!
This year more than any other year, those affected by cancer need your support. Coronovirus has meant that people have been hesitant to go to their doctors to get checked up, which means that many more people could have cancer (and breast cancer) than we currently know of. Tenovus Cancer Care wants to be there for those people as and when we are needed. Every pound and penny raised goes towards this.
Are you ready to step-up and do your part?
We have lots of ideas for how you can get involved, and this year we’re encouraging people to join our online quiz. It promises to be a fun night!
Or you can host your own BaZOOMba quiz on Tenovus Cancer Care’s behalf. We’ve put together everything you’ll need to get your own quiz organised.
This year more than any other year, those affected by cancer need your support. Coronovirus has meant that people have been hesitant to go to their doctors to get checked up, which means that many more people could have cancer (and breast cancer) than we currently know of.
Tenovus Cancer Care wants to be there for those people as and when we are needed. Every pound and penny raised goes towards this.
“I’d first noticed a funny little lump on my chest in 2007. It was diagnosed as a popped ligament and my funny little lump stayed until December 2013 when I thought it wasn’t quite so little anymore. Another X-ray, ultrasound and CT scan revealed nothing sinister but I asked for referral to a consultant anyway because the lump had become uncomfortable.
“I was in work when I had the phone call to tell me that everyone was surprised to find I had breast cancer. On what became known as ‘black Friday’ my surgeon took my hand and very gently told me that there would be no surgery as the cancer had already spread into my vertebrae.
“I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma with metastases; an unusual case in that my cancer was in my breast bone not in the tissue. I always have to be different!
“Cancer left me feeling like I’d lost control over my life. The physical and emotional impact of the diagnosis meant I had to retire after working in the NHS for 34 years. Every twinge or headache made me think of the cancer spreading and my life was taken over by blood tests, scans and treatments with a diary full of medical appointments.
“At various times on this journey I’ve called Tenovus Cancer Care’s Support Line and talked to one of the nurses. There were some things I didn’t want to subject my family and friends to. Talking to someone who didn’t know me meant I felt free to tell them anything and everything.
“Regular treatment keeps the cancer stable. I’ve been using the charities Mobile Support Unit for four years and the care I receive there is superb. The staff are professional and empathic and I can greet them like old friends which makes treatment more bearable. I have my treatment closer to home, in wonderful surroundings, with special people in a state-of- the art facility. It’s amazing and I feel fortunate to have access to it.
“It’s important to know that you can live with this disease. Years later the treatment is still working and I can enjoy myself, even if it’s at a different pace. I want others to know that it’s possible to live a full and happy life despite being told your cancer is incurable. The one thing we can cling onto is hope.”
Deborah has struggled physically and emotionally since the surgery for her second cancer diagnosis resulted in lymphoedma in her left arm. She has been visiting our Mobile Support Unit near her home in Brecon to receive treatment and support for the condition.
“I never thought that I would get breast cancer. I didn’t tick any of the usual boxes and there’s no family history but I’ve had cancer twice. My first diagnosis was in August 2002 and my second was ten years later in August 2012. I’d noticed a small wrinkling of skin near my nipple which I knew was unusual. After an ultrasound and biopsy I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a right sided mastectomy and chemotherapy, followed by medication.
“My daughter was just approaching her teens when I was first diagnosed. It affected her deeply and I was concerned about being around for her. I decided not to have a reconstructive surgery, although now looking back I may have made a different decision. I lost confidence in my appearance and felt very self-conscious for a while but I eventually got used to the strangeness of being lop-sided and the inconvenience of the prosthetic.
“My second cancer was picked up by a routine mammogram and an ultrasound. That time I had a lumpectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and more medication. The operation and treatment resulted in lymphoedma in my left hand and arm which I’ve really struggled with, both physically and psychologically. I’m predominantly left-handed and find it a problem with working, typing, and doing daily tasks around the home. I wear a glove and sleeve which, apart from the discomfort of the lymphoedma, make me feel unattractive.
“I’ve been using Tenovus Cancer Care’s Mobile Support Unit which offers lymphoedma treatment close to my home. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the service after a referral from my GP. Living in rural Brecon and not being a driver myself, having easy access to the Unit and treatment is a godsend. The staff are always very welcoming, friendly and treat everyone with respect. The Unit itself is a cheerful place to come and feels like a very safe space to bring any concerns or worries.
“I would enthusiastically recommend Tenovus Cancer Care and their services. Not only do they provide excellent care but they are a font of knowledge about other organisations and services which may be of use. You’re left with the feeling that they really do care about you.”
And don’t forget to check your boobs! Make sure you’re keeping an eye out on your own health as we tackle breast cancer together.