17 October 2016
For it was during one of these checks that 49-year-old Johanna, who lives in Hopwas, near Tamworth, noticed a lump in her left breast.
Johanna, a Patient Advice and Liaison Officer at Good Hope Hospital, reported the lump to her GP.
At first it was thought it was just lumpy tissue but, when the skin started puckering just weeks later, she visited a second GP and was referred to consultant breast surgeon Mr Hemant Ingle at Spire Little Aston.
He sent mum-of-two Johanna for a mammogram and an ultrasound scan and, when it was confirmed the lump was suspicious a biopsy was carried out on the same day. Less than a week later Joanna was told she had breast cancer which had also spread to her lymph nodes.
“I am so glad I regularly checked my breasts and that I went back to my GP when I noticed more changes. It is important to get to know your body and notice changes in it. In this case it really did save my life,” she said
“Once the cancer was diagnosed I was obviously shocked but at least it had been diagnosed – now we could start doing something about it!”
Johanna underwent a mastectomy at Spire Little Aston followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is now planning breast reconstruction surgery for the New Year.
“I couldn’t possibly have received better treatment,” said Johanna, “And I really must say thanks to the specialist breast nurse Gill Farrington. Nothing was too much trouble for her and she provided help and encouragement throughout my treatment.
Now I just keep telling my friends, particularly those under 50, to make sure they carry out regular breast checks and get straight to their GP if they notice any changes.
“No-one knows your body like you do so keep checking and watch out for changes – your life really can be in your own hands,” said Johanna.
If you worried about changes to your breasts, please call 0121 580 7119 to speak to our patient treatment advisors.