When Carol found out she had breast cancer, she had only just turned 30. She wanted to have a baby and her first thought was that she didn’t want the treatment to affect her ability to have a child. But she knew she had to do it anyway.
Carol was referred to The Christie for treatment for the breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and then a mastectomy.
Thankfully, Carol’s treatment worked – and what’s more, it didn’t affect her ability to have a baby. She went on to have a boy and a girl.
That was 30 years ago, and Carol no longer has to visit The Christie for check-ups. She says The Christie is the best hospital she ever been in, and she feels so lucky to have such a leading hospital in the Northwest.
Carol said that for any young women with a breast cancer diagnosis, she would tell them that the treatment is hard, but it has to be done. She said that whatever happens, there’s lots of options available, and that patients should have the confidence to ask questions. Carol said that by doing that, she never feared for her life because she knew she was doing something about it.
As Carol found her breast cancer early and received treatment, she was able to have a full and active life with her family. Carol said that things could have been very different if she hadn’t found the cancer so early – she said she might not even still be alive.
When she was treated at The Christie, Carol’s oncologist was Professor Anthony Howell. Professor Howell’s son, Dr Sacha Howell, now works at The Christie and wants to lead to research to identify young women who are most at risk from breast cancer.
Although Carol found her lump by accident, she says she’s behind more research into identifying breast cancer at a younger age.
“My daughter is young and at risk so more research into other factors that may be able to identify young women who are at risk besides genetics is important. It would be great to see more women below the screening ages being checked.