'All women should go for their scan'
Adele Jowett (right) meeting up with breast cancer nurse specialist Mandy Blackburn at St Luke's Hospital
Local health worker Adele Jowett is urging more women to make sure they take up screening for breast cancer after recovering from surgery.
Adele has praised the “fantastic” NHS staff who supported her through her treatment following a recent diagnosis of breast cancer.
A malignant lump, which she hadn’t been able to feel in her breast, was discovered during a routine screening appointment: a test which all women in the UK aged 50 and over are offered every three years.
Adele, a local counter-fraud specialist for the NHS in Bradford and Airedale, was recalled when Pennine Breast Screening Service, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, noticed a suspicious area on her mammogram, which showed up as a cancerous growth during further tests.
Within days of a biopsy being done, Adele was told by a consultant that she had cancer and would need surgery. Her operation was carried out soon after at Bradford Royal Infirmary, during which the cancerous area was successfully removed.
Adele is now back at work and preparing for a course of radiotherapy. She said the shock of her cancer diagnosis was tempered by the support, care and kindness she received from all the NHS staff involved in her care.
“It’s hard to describe how you feel when you get told you have cancer – it came totally out of the blue as I was fit and well and had no idea anything was wrong. It was such a stressful time but the staff were absolutely fantastic; they really helped to take the edge off it,” said Adele.
“Thanks to everyone involved – from the breast screening unit, to my consultant, the breast care nurses and my GP – I felt supported and knowledgeable during the whole process. The care I received helped me to cope and I just feel so lucky that they caught the cancer early enough and were able to remove it.
“I would encourage all women to go for their screening. It only takes minutes and it can save your life. I had no symptoms, so it’s frightening to think that the cancer would have got worse if I hadn’t gone for breast screening.”
The NHS Breast Screening Programme provides free breast screening every three years for all women in the UK aged 50 and over and is very successful in helping to bring forward detection and diagnosis. Early detection makes treatment more likely to be effective.
The advice for women is if there is anything you are not sure about, or you notice something new such as a lump, thickening, or a rash; then it’s always best to see your doctor and get it checked out.
For more information visit: www.breastcancercare.org.uk