One woman who has survived breast cancer that was caused by a genetic mutation believes that women who are identified as being at risk of this form of the disease should be able to start having screening earlier.
Nicola Naish told iNews that she believes her cancer could have been caught more quickly had she started having screening earlier. She was just about to turn 40 when she was diagnosed with the illness and had found a lump before her first mammogram on the NHS.
She was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, for which she had to undergo rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as a double mastectomy.
“I still think it needn’t have been a stage 3 for me. I really believe doctors might have picked something up earlier, maybe stage 1 or 2 [if I had been checked earlier],” she told the news provider.
Nicola is also very vocal about raising awareness of the illness and of the importance of talking about it within families where a genetic mutation increases the risk. She is the seventh member of her family to be diagnosed with the condition, and explained that she’s been very honest with her daughter Elka about what it means for her in the future.
Elka was only nine when Nicola was diagnosed, but she said that she let her “see and understand and ask as many questions as she wanted, so she’s very aware”.
Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK recently announced that they had come up with a more accurate way of predicting a woman’s breast cancer risk based on familial history and are hoping that this can be adopted in the health service.
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