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I checked for lumps... but had breast cancer
DISCOVERING she had seven tumours in her breast came as a complete shock to Lyn Goodhead.
Especially due to the fact that she had regularly checked her breasts for lumps for over 30 years.
The tumours were so deep, Lyn would not have been able to detect them through touch alone. Having had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, Lyn now wants more women to be aware of the symptoms and to go for regular mammograms.
“It was a complete shock to me because I had not detected any lumps,” says Lyn, 61. “The tumours were so deeply rooted that I would never have felt the lumps, and it was only after the mastectomy, when they dissected the breast, they discovered the full extent of the tumours.”
Lyn, who lives in Laindon, had gone for a regular mammogram in June 2009 at a mobile unit in Basildon.
She says: “I went for the mammogram and they referred me to the Nightgale Unit at Southend Hospital a week later for another mammogram. They were fantastic and I felt really supported the whole time.”
After the mam-mogram at Southend Hospital, Lyn had a biopsy when it was confirmed the tumours were cancerous. She went on to have two lump-ectomy operations, where the breast tumour and some of the normal tissue which surrounds is removed.
Lyn says: “I spoke to my surgeon after the operations and he said the margin was not clear and the type of cancer I had would not be responsive to chemo or radiotherapy. My only option was to have a mastectomy.”
After the mastectomy, in July 2009, it was discovered she had seven tumours in her right breast and she later had reconstructive surgery. Now she is positive about her future and wants more women to be vigilant about their breasts.
She says: “I suppose part of m was angry that I had always been careful and this happened, but you can’t think like that. You have to be positive.
“My prognosis is positive and I am in remission. “I took three years of Letrozole and now have two years of taking Tamoxifen.”
Lyn says it was the love and support she received which helped her through the tough times.
Lyn says: “Friends and family were fantastic and my husband, John, was so supportive during that time and he never missed an appointment with me. “I was allocated a care nurse from Macmillan, Lesley, and she was with me through it all. I could call her when I needed to.”
Now Lyn dedicates her time to raising money for the Nightgale Unit at Southend Hospital and for Macmillan. Visit macmillan.org.uk for details.