Frances Quinn began supporting Breast Cancer Haven as the Ambassador for The Big Tea Cosy – the charity’s national fundraiser.  Working with the charity gave her a fresh insight into how a breast cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on people’s lives, and how important it is that they get the support they need from experts.

 

Different reactions to diagnosis

 

“60,000 people a year in the are UK diagnosed with breast cancer, that is a lot of people and it brings home just how many of us will be touched by the disease at some point in our lives. This works out as one in eight women in the UK; most of us know someone who has been affected.

"A 20 year old may worry about having a family in the future; a 70 year old may worry about coping with treatment side-effects."

"What is maybe less well understood, is how varied the responses to hearing the news ‘you have breast cancer’ can be. Everyone reacts differently, of course we do.

"A 20 year old might be worried about how the diagnosis would affect their chances of having a family in the future, a 40 year old may be worried about telling their partner and a 70 year old may worry about how they will cope with the difficult side effects of treatment.

"From the moment I started working with the charity’s London centre, I realised just how well they understood all these concerns. They are a national charity that supports women through their breast cancer treatment. When breast cancer tries to rob a woman of her individuality, her confidence or her strength, it makes such a difference to receive a tailored package of emotional, physical and practical support.”

 

A specialist will take the time to discuss personal fears, symptoms and concerns.

 

Support beyond treatment

 

The charity supports women and their families via a network of six welcoming centres around the UK and through an expanding network of other services. They provide women with breast cancer with the support that treatment alone can’t.

"Specialist advice on even just the way we eat can be literally life-changing."

Working alongside each individual a qualified healthcare specialist will build a programme of support that addresses their personal fears, symptoms and concerns which helps them to live the best life possible, during and beyond their diagnosis of breast cancer. This may include counselling, massage or nutritional therapy amongst others.

“Breast Cancer Haven’s nutritional therapy programme really inspired with me. Cancer treatments notoriously result in unbearable nausea and digestive issues. Providing people with specialist advice on how to manage this free of charge, just through the way we eat can be literally life-changing. The NHS does an incredible job at treating cancer and I am so thankful that somewhere like Breast Cancer Haven exists help people support people beyond their medical treatment and through their toughest times.”