A Swindon woman who has gone throught the trauma of breast removal and cancer treatment is supporting a major fundraising and awareness campaign for Cancer Research UK.
Julie Armstrong, 44, from Toothill, met up with her consultant Marcus Galea at the Great Western Hospital on 5 October to pose with 1 pink and 8 white roses to symbolise the one in nine women who get breast cancer.
Cancer Research UK?s campaign, known as All Women Together, aims to raise awareness of breast cancer and the progress that has been made in tackling the disease which affects 41,000 women each year in the UK each year. It also highlights the ways people in Swindon can make a difference by helping to raise money to fund research.
Julie, centre, with her consultant Mr Galea and her daughters Charlene, Cherie and Kelly Julie said, ?looking at these pink roses really brings home the fact that each flower represents a woman from the South West of England who will today discover she has breast cancer. I am living proof that there are effective treatments for the disease. Sadly, however, not everyone survives. This is why I am supporting Cancer Research UK?s All Women Together campaign, to highlight the need for more research.?
Julie was diagnosed with breast cancer on her birthday in April last year following which she underwent a mastectomy, reconstruction and a course of chemotherapy.
Mother of five Julie found the lump whilst looking in the mirror. She noticed a large lump in her breast, she called her daughter into the bathroom and they agreed it didn?t look good, so they called Julie?s sister who lives across the road and the three of them went along to the NHS walk in centre in the town centre.
The nurse at the walk in centre advised Julie to see her GP Dr Kandy Kandiah at Sparcells Surgery immediately, who in turn referred her to the hospital where she was seen a week later.
After a biopsy and a mammogram, their fears were confirmed. ?Cancer hadn?t even crossed my mind, although my daughter was thinking the worst,” said Julie. “I have never thought about cancer; I’ve been lucky and never known anyone with the disease, but my story highlights how we should all be aware of our bodies and regularly check our breasts whatever our age.?
Charlene, 23, Julie?s oldest daughter was with her when she found the lump. ? I had read a leaflet about how to check your breasts and the things you should look out for, so when mum showed me the lump I urged her to get it checked out.?
Julie was devastated at the idea of losing a breast. ?I was confused and shocked, there was so much information to take in but I couldn?t stop thinking about how odd it would look to not have a breast.?
After talking with her consultant Mr Galea, Julie opted for a mastectomy with reconstruction. Due to the size of Julie?s tumour she had to undergo further tests to check that the cancer hadn?t spread, and these confirmed it had not done so.
A year on from her chemotherapy and Julie is positive about the future. ? I try not to let little things bother me any more, you realise there is so much more to life and time is too precious to spend it worrying about trivial things?.
Cancer Research UK?s All Women Together campaign hopes to engage women, men and children in pink-themed fundraising activities throughout October. Julie has already been involved in fundraising for Cancer Research UK at work. Julie works for Wilkinson?s, who last year chose Cancer Research UK as their charity of the year. After Julie received her diagnosis a number of colleagues had their heads shaved to raise money for the charity. She said, ?I can?t thank my colleagues enough for their support, and the support they have shown for Cancer Research UK is brilliant.?
To find out more about the Women All Join Together and how help Cancer Research UK, call the fundraising office on 08701 60 20 40 or go to: