At 10:30 am on June 3 2009, local actress Rebekah Gibbs will officially open the new BreastHealth UK clinic at the Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
In late 2007, just 18-months ago, everything looked perfect for 34-year-old former-Casualty-actress Rebekah Gibbs, who was seven months pregnant with her first child and looking forward to motherhood and the joys of family life. But on Christmas Eve she found a lump in her breast, and her world turned upside down.
In February, just a couple of weeks after her daughter Gigi was born, Rebekah’s GP referred her to a specialist, but there was a six-week wait before she could be seen by the NHS hospital. “The waiting was agony, and during that time a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I was getting more and more panicky,” she said.
“My friend told me to call her surgeon – Mr Williams – directly. I did, and he was able to see me within an hour of calling him. He identified straight away that the lump was suspicious, and I had an operation to remove it two weeks later.”
On June 3 2009, Rebekah will open the new BreastHealth UK clinic in the Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital, where Mr Williams is the resident breast surgeon. BreastHealth UK offers a comprehensive range of screening and diagnostic techniques, including state-of-the-art technologies not yet available on the NHS.
“At BreastHealth UK, we know that waiting can be a painful experience in itself, so we have ensured that women can access our clinics’ facilities without a GP referral, and obtain the highest quality care quickly,” said Mr Tim Williams, consultant breast surgeon at the new Spire Tunbridge Wells clinic. “Breast cancer in younger women is rare, but I would always recommend that women get anything suspicious checked out – getting diagnosis and treatment early gives the best chance of a positive outcome.”
As well as the OneStop Clinic for women who have a specific concern, BreastHealth UK also offers a personalised risk assessment test based on the latest genetic understanding coupled with lifestyle, medical and family history factors. Individually tailored screening programmes can also be arranged in consultation with medical staff.
Now, just over a year later, Rebekah is once again looking forward to her future and to years of motherhood. She has written a book, Because of You, detailing her fight to survive and see her little girl grow up.
If you would like more information about breast services at Spire Tunbridge Wells then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone our customer advise line on: 01892 741 150.