Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Tracy’s story

A London Ambulance Service medic who survived breast cancer is calling on women – and men – to be aware of the importance of checking for lumps.

Tracy in her LAS uniform in a garden
Tracy

Tracy, a trainee Emergency Ambulance Crew who has been working with our new ‘Wellbeing Hub’ since the beginning of September, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2018, aged 43.

Tracy had found a lump in her breast and booked a doctor’s appointment immediately.

She received treatment over the course of a year, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Tracy wants to remind women (and men, as breast cancer affects men too, in rare cases) to regularly check their breasts for lumps or any other changes.

She said: “This was without a doubt the most challenging, frightening and emotional situation I have ever experienced, but I do like to think that it has made me a stronger, healthier and more compassionate person.

“I was very lucky that I caught my cancer at an early stage and am now cancer free.”

About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime – but there is a good chance of recovery if it’s detected at an early stage. It is more common in women who are aged 50 and over.

Tracy is also running 26.2 miles over the month to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Find out more here.

Symptoms of breast cancer:

Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

Source: NHS.uk website. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/