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In support of breast cancer awareness, we’ve teamed up with CoppaFeel! a charity doing amazing things towards educating young people on the importance of being aware, in order to give everyone the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer. With an exclusive collection, as seen on our inspirational and strong queens, we’re striving to de-stigmatise, educate and spread nothing but body positivity. These fierce females have been through breast cancer and are here to share their stories rooted in self-love, courage and finding the strength within.
I was diagnosed with primary triple negative breast cancer in 2018. I received chemo/lumpectomy and radiotherapy. I had a complete pathological response and was told I had no active cancer in my body. After 18 months of experiencing pain in my chest and spine I was given pain killers and told all was ok. During my routine MRI scan they found that my cancer had returned and it is incurable. I am waiting to start chemo in order to improve my pain and hopefully keep me here for a few years to come! Trust me I’m not going anywhere just yet! My body keep me going- I have all the faith.
I had the most amazing friends that kept me laughing and always took turns to take me to chemo. My mother moved in and nursed me back to life along with all of my daughters love. This time around I’m going into chemo with an army of love and support. From family friends and a cancer and curly hair community that are so special.
My daughter! She is where it begins and ends.
Prioritise your mental health. Also knowledge is power, read, learn and ask questions. It’s your life and your body. You have a say.
It affects us all! Your body will give you signs when something is not right. Don’t ignore it- get to the doctor, push for answers.
Don’t ignore it! Go to the doctor. If they say it’s ok and you know it isn’t push for a scan. Take it as far as complaining if needed.
When I’m smiling and I’m happy! There’s nothing more beautiful.
I found the lump back in April 2020 during the first lockdown, I was getting changed on Saturday evening and came across a lump on my left breast, it was the same size as a golf ball. I ran downstairs and asked my mum to feel my lump and she advised me to get it checked out. The following Monday I phoned my GP and told her about my lump. She saw me straight away and referred me to the breast clinic. After a few weeks of appointments and biopsies, it was confirmed it was triple-negative breast cancer. I had to have surgery first due to my cystic fibrosis, it was a risk that the chemotherapy would make me too ill for the surgery beforehand. Luckily the drug Kaftrio for my cystic fibrosis got its licence on the NHS. There was hope I could cope with chemotherapy side effects. I still grieve for the person before Kaftrio and the breast cancer diagnosis. I'm grateful this drug came in time so I could complete chemotherapy/radiation and get my health to where it's at today.
Mastectomy, full lymph node clearance, chemotherapy and radiation.
When I was diagnosed, the first thing I did was looked on Instagram to see if anyone around my age has breast cancer and through that, I met an amazing community of women all supporting each other in this club that nobody wants to be a part of.
My first instinct was survival mode due to living my life with cystic fibrosis since birth, I've been doing treatments and fighting to stay alive my whole life, that’s all I've ever known.
I found meeting other young women who were also diagnosed with breast cancer really inspiring. Being able to meet someone who can relate to your experiences has helped me and I’ve made some really strong friendships. I’d also say, be patient with your body. Recovery can be slow, but you will get there. Look after yourself.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, ask your GP to be referred to genetics. As the BRCA gene puts you at a higher risk of breast cancer. There are surgical options to prevent it.
Go and get it checked out by your GP as soon as possible. Don’t wait it out.
I feel most beautiful when I feel mentally happy and confident within myself.
I was diagnosed in May 2019. I was actually watching a programme on TV on some celebrities who shared their personal experiences with breast cancer. They spoke on the importance of self-examination and how to do so. Prior to being diagnosed I always assumed I was too young, the thought never came to me to ever examine my breast. I made it a point after watching that programme to check myself in the shower and I found a lump. I called 111 as it was a Sunday I got seen the same day and was booked to see the breast care team the following week, I had several biopsies taken and was to return for the results in two weeks. I attended my appointment alone as I was sure it would be good news. I was wrong. I had breast cancer triple positive Her2.
I received chemotherapy, radiotherapy, lumpectomy and targeted therapy.
I was lucky enough to have support from family and friends who helped me. However sometimes I wanted to engage with people my age who could relate, often times there was nobody and this was hard to deal with. I would say now I am in remission, I have come across a lot of support groups and charities which I am immensely grateful for.
My faith, when I was down I’d often pray this helped me to feel at peace, despite the madness and various challenges I faced. My son also kept me going the thought of possibly not seeing him grow frightened me. I wanted to be brave and strong for him. He is my world.
Be kind to yourself, listen to your body and accept help and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lastly, try not to Google too much (easier said than done) some stuff online is helpful, other times though I’d put myself into unnecessary panic/stress due to things I’d seen/read online. Not everyone’s Journey is the same.
Breast cancer can affect absolutely anyone at any time. It doesn’t discriminate or care about your status, so make sure you’re regularly checking your breasts.
Call your GP. If for any reason you can’t get an appointment or your GP isn’t taking you seriously, please go to A&E as soon as possible.
Whenever I look at myself in the mirror my body tells a story. I struggled with self love and confidence for a very long time but having cancer And seeing the changes it had on my body caused me to see the beauty.
I was diagnosed at 32. I found a hard lump myself that was no bigger than a baked bean but ignored it for a few months thinking it was cycle related (as I often got lumpy boobs). It was only when I noticed that it had definitely grown that I went to my GP. She had a good feel and referred me to the breast clinic but she wasn’t concerned because of my age and said it was likely to be a cyst that would be drained. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. At my breast clinic appointment, I had a mammogram and an ultrasound along with 2 biopsies and was told they were almost certain it was cancer but just had to wait for confirmation of the biopsies. Of course they were right.
I went through chemotherapy, radiotherapy, lumpectomy surgery, a year or herceptin injections and will be on tablets for 10 years.
I was lucky to have a lot of love around me but even with that cancer can be a lonely place. I found it informative following people on Instagram who had a similar diagnosis to me and comforting following their journey so I’d at least have a vague idea of what was coming next for me. I also found out about a number of charities, CoppaFeel! being one of them, who not only could provided information about breast cancer but some who provided psychological, emotional and financial support. One of the charities even had a centre near the hospital where I was getting my treatment where I could just hang out in a nice space surrounded by other people who understood what I was going through.
This is a hard question because you don’t really have the time to find strength so to speak, you’re not given a choice, this is happening whether you like it or not, your world changes over night so you go into fight or flight mode. Your survival instinct kicks in and you just try and get through it one day at a time.
Be kind to yourself. Your world has been flipped on its head over night and you feel like a shell of the person you once were, sometimes not even recognising the person looking back in the mirror all whilst trying to navigate your way through treatment so just be kind to your mind and make some time just for you. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. You put on the brave face most of the time but you are only human and going through a lot both physically and mentally and we all need a bit of help sometimes.
Can I give 2 facts? 1, early detection saves lives! It really is the best form of defence we have against the disease often referred to as “the silent killer”. The earlier detected, the better the potential outcome. And 2, If you are lucky to be told there is “no evidence of disease”, cancer doesn’t end once you’re in remission. As well as the fear of it coming back, for a lot of people there is still medication they have to take (sometimes forever), their bodies are permanently damaged in some way from various treatments and anxiety and/or depression are probably their new best friends. Please just don’t presume that every cancer survivor just bounces back once they’re “better” because I guarantee you they don’t. Mental health is real, not as obvious as a physical injury but often more damaging.
Get it checked out! Nobody knows your body better than you so if you feel that something just isn’t right then always go to your GP. You’re not wasting anyone's time or being a nuisance, you’re advocating for your body and hopefully just giving yourself piece of mind.
I feel most beautiful when I’ve had a bit of a pamper and got dressed up. It makes me feel good about myself, confident and ready to take on the world.
I was diagnosed with stage 2A breast cancer 9 November 2020, age 26. I was in the USA at the time, travelling with my new husband. I felt a lump in my right breast in the shower one night at the end of September. I knew instantly that this was not right, I know my body pretty well and know what is normal, and this definitely wasn't it! Within 36hrs I was in a hospital getting the lump checked. Two doctors told me that because of my age, it was likely just benign and nothing to worry about. They referred me to a breast clinic, but they refused to see me for at least 2 months, because my age made me 'low priority'. Instead of taking their advice, I kept pushing and kept going back to see doctors over the next few weeks. Eventually I found a doctor who would biopsy the lump, and a couple of days later, she called me and told me over the phone that it was cancer. I knew I had to fly home to the UK immediately.
At first, I had lots of diagnostic testing done to check whether the cancer had spread, thankfully it wasn't detected anywhere else apart from my right breast. Since then, I've had fertility treatment, 7 rounds of chemotherapy, a right mastectomy with reconstruction and am about to start radiotherapy. I will have another year of immunotherapy and low dose chemotherapy to stop the cancer ever coming back, as well as 10 years of hormone blockers seeing as my cancer was driven by hormones.
Honestly, I am really lucky to have an incredibly supportive family and friends. I couldn't have done this without them! My family battled with me through the tough chemo days, drove me around to appointments and brought me food when I was too weak to get out of bed. I found it important to try to maintain some normality so cosy dinners with the girls and staycations with my husband, when I felt physically up to it, helped boost my spirits. However, the incredible online community of other cancer patients is what kept me going a lot of the time too! Being able to connect with other young women going through the same thing is so empowering, and you instantly have this unspoken bond and understanding!
People have asked me this a lot since I was diagnosed, but it's a tough one to answer. I always used to see people going through cancer and think 'wow, they're amazing, I could never do that', but when it's you, you just kind of have this survival instinct that kicks in. You don't really have a choice but to be strong, you have to just get up and focus on getting through each day, and before you know it, you're being told you're cancer free! For me, I've always been a really positive person, but at times I've been terrified of losing my life. The way I've dealt with that is to be kind to myself and my body and not to torment myself with things I cannot control. It's a real life lesson in what and who is important to you. I focus on just enjoying the present and try to remind myself of all the good things I still DO have!
It's all going to be ok, even when it feels like the world is crumbling around you, just do your best. I think there can be quite a lot of pressure to do things in a certain way. You're bombarded by really lovely well-meaning people giving you advice, but often the advice is conflicting, so you just need to do whatever feels right for you and your body. There's no 'right' way of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, there's no 'right' way to heal, just focus on getting through one day at a time, turn up to your appointments and cry when it all gets too much, you're only human and this is a REALLY tough thing to go through!!
Please don't think it won't be you! No one is immune from breast cancer, women under 30 can get it, men can get it, this disease does not discriminate. It doesn't matter if you're fit, healthy, vegan, religious, young, rich and famous, have no family history... unfortunately it can still happen. I don't say this to scare people, it's just the reality. It happened to me and I have literally NONE of the risk factors, so I beg people not to become complacent and KEEP CHECKING YOUR CHESTS!
Whenever i look at myself in the mirror my body tells a story. I struggled with self love and confidence for a very long time but having cancer And seeing the changes it had on my body caused me to see the beauty.
I was first diagnosed with primary breast cancer at the age 29. At the time I was 15 weeks pregnant when I found a lump in my right breast. The GP was quick to dismiss the lump as a hormonal change given the fact I was pregnant and my age. I was “too young”. I underwent my treatment as was told there was no evidence of disease within my body. I was later diagnosed with stage 4 incurable breast cancer a day after my 31st Birthday. I am now living with secondary breast cancer which has spread to my bones.
I underwent the a single side mastectomy, chemotherapy, auxiliary lymph node clearance and radiotherapy. I am now receiving palliative treatment. At present nothing will cure my cancer but the treatment should allow me more time.
My friends and family have been so amazing throughout. My fiancé has just been the best and my children have no idea how much they’ve kept my head afloat. I found strength from the support given by an online community of women who are in a similar position. They just get it!
I find my strength in the hope of tomorrow. If I know I have tomorrow I have everything. To be there for my children really is the one thing that keeps me going.
The best advice I could give to someone going through breast cancer is, just do what you have to. Don’t worry about the pressure of being ok. You don’t have to put on a brave face, just do what you body is telling you to do. After all our body has a wonderful way of showing us that things aren’t ok.
Secondary breast cancer is underfunded and there should be more education around what it is and how it affects young women!
GO AND GET IT CHECKED! Listen to your body! Do not ignore the warning signals.
No make up on, in the sunshine surrounded by my loved ones.
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