Breast cancer survivor Sheena McCabe from Swords makes a passionate appeal for support of the Irish Cancer Society’s (ICS) Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.
The Dublin woman discovered a hard lump on the side of her breast in August 2019. Following a visit to her GP and further testing, Sheena discovered she had breast cancer.
Following her diagnosis, Sheena (53) underwent a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, immune targeted therapy and chemotherapy. “Despite my suspicions, I was totally shocked when I received the diagnosis. I felt I was fit and healthy at the time. I don’t smoke or drink and had no family history of cancer, I didn’t think it would happen to me,” said Sheena.
“After my diagnosis, I went to the Irish Cancer Society Daffodil Centre in the hospital and spoke with the Irish Cancer Society Nurse. The booklets she gave me were incredible and so helpful. I also tried to only look at resources like the Irish Cancer Society website. This was a trusted source, as I knew there was a lot of unreliable information also online. The Daffodil Centre nurses also registered me for a Chemo education course, I brought my mum with me, and so we could both be familiar with the treatment and any side effects.
“I would encourage everyone to please get behind and support the Big Pink Breakfast campaign, none of these cancer supports would be available without the generous donations of the Irish public.”
Sheena is encouraging people to come forward and host a Big Pink Breakfast to help fund vital breast cancer support services and life-changing research projects.
Caroline O’Sullivan, Cancer Nurse at the ICS said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Ireland. Over 3,400 women and approximately 30 men are diagnosed with it each year. It is vital therefore that everyone be ‘breast aware’. Thankfully most breast cancers are diagnosed at an earlier stage. The earlier you are diagnosed, the more treatment options are available to you, including surgery, radiotherapy, and drug therapies. If you are concerned about breast cancer, call the Irish Cancer Society’s Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700 or see www.cancer.ie”
This October, the ICS are asking people to host a Big Pink Breakfast in their homes, workplaces, communities and colleges to raise funds to support breast cancer support services such as free counselling, transport to chemotherapy, Night Nursing, along with ground-breaking breast cancer research projects.
To learn more or get involved, see: https://www.cancer.ie/PinkBreakfast
Symptoms of breast cancer include:
• A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
• A change in size or shape of your breast such as one breast becoming larger than the other
• A change in the skin of your breast, such as puckering or dimpling (the skin may look like orange peel)
• A breast abscess or boil – this may appear as a red, tender area on your breast.
• A change in your nipple, such as a pulled in, sunken or flattened nipple.
• An unusual discharge (liquid) from one or both of your nipples. The discharge may be blood stained or watery.
• A change on or around the nipple such as a rash or flaky or crusted skin
• Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
9 out of 10 breast changes won’t turn out to be breast cancer, but it’s important to go to your GP immediately if you have symptoms and get them checked out.
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