Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day 2021 Oct 13, 2021
Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day 2021
Throughout October, we’re raising awareness Breast Cancer Awareness Month to ensure that everyone knows the signs, knows the risks and knows how to take action through our Breast Cancer Promise.
But for those living with cancer after a secondary diagnosis, it’s just as important to know your body and take action if you notice any changes. This Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, we spoke with Avon UK Representative Emily to speak about the importance of making secondaries count. Here’s her story…
When everyone’s lives got turned upside down at the start of the pandemic, so did mine…and then some. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 after finding a lump in my breast. I checked my chest regularly and had a good idea what was normal for me, so I wasn’t too worried even after a finding something because I was 29 at the time and there was no history of cancer in my family. After a referral, which wasn’t marked as urgent due to my age, and several conversations with my colleagues in A&E where I worked on reception at the time, I received a call following my scan. I was told it was cancer.
My diagnosis was stage four, secondary breast cancer, meaning I would be receiving treatment for the rest of my life. My prognosis was two to three years, meaning I was classed as incurable.
You can’t really prepare for an incurable cancer diagnosis before the age of 30. I did check my boobs regularly, I was aware of my body and any changes I swiftly followed up and got checked out, but I never thought I would be faced with this. Of course it was difficult to start with, especially for my family, my mum and my three daughters. My outlook on things changed too. Now, I’m incredibly open about my diagnosis and how it makes me feel, so that anyone I speak to knows the importance of knowing your body and taking action. I want them to know too that it’s ok to have bad days and that being honest about how you’re feeling is okay too.
I’ve met lots of people through my treatment, some with secondary and many with primary breast cancer, which has been great to connecting with people with shared experience and help raise awareness together. More needs to be done however, for those living with cancer. 31 people a day will die of secondary breast cancer, it’s what kills people. In the UK, there are five new research programmes currently taking place into secondary cancer through charitable projects, but I also want to raise awareness of the importance of knowing your body after receiving a diagnosis.
I’m an Avon Rep and I’m proud to raise awareness of the Avon Breast Cancer Promise – knowing the signs, risks and how to take action – but that’s the same for secondaries too. I want everyone reading this to know their body, know the signs and know it’s important to get checked out even after cancer. I share this message with my customers and I’d love for everyone reading this today to do the same, on Secondary Breast Cancer Day and beyond for the secondary community. We are not a write off, we are still living. We are living to life as long and a life as possible, not to be forgotten about.