A cancer survivor from Alnwick is starring in a new North East campaign to emphasise the importance of live-saving breast screening.
Sheila Younger, 55, has been selected to be part of the Breast Screening Saves Lives: It’s too important to forget appeal.
This year, Breast Specialists at the city centre’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) have welcomed some of their patients on board to give a fresh perspective to the awareness campaign.
The service has used women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone varying treatment regimes to stress the importance of being screened.
Sheila is one of six to be part of the campaign – which encourages women aged 50 to 70 to attend a breast-screening session – and is starring in the adverts that are currently on display around the region on buses, posters and billboards.
She says: “Breast screening detected my breast cancer at an early stage which enabled me to have successful treatment.
“I was invited to my first routine breast screening appointment in 2011 and I attended a mobile unit. When I received my results, I was advised that further investigation was required.”
Sheila attended the assessment clinic at the RVI where she had to have core biopsies taken, which showed that her right breast had a carcinoma.
Sheila said: “I had follow-up discussions with the medical staff at the Breast Screening and Assessment Centre which were all very informative. I was able to find out about the different treatment and surgery options available to me.
“I was made fully aware of the treatment options at every stage to enable me to make an informed and considered decision about how I wished things to proceed. I always felt that my concerns were listened to by staff. The care, thoughtfulness and kindness of all staff are something that cannot be overestimated during difficult times”
But Sheila’s story doesn’t finish there. She said: “During further check-ups in 2014, a carcinoma in my left breast was discovered. This required further surgery and radiotherapy.
“At the present time, I am free of breast cancer but attend twice-yearly screenings to monitor things.
“I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending that all women who are eligible for the routine breast-screening programme take advantage of the process. I consider myself proof of the benefit of detecting breast cancer at an early stage through the screening service.”