Amanda Mealing recalls breast cancer diagnosis and fears she wouldn’t see children grow up

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“I seriously had to consider the fact I wouldn’t see my children grow up,” Amanda Healing told Lorraine on ITV last year. The “life-threatening situation” is “an enormous trauma which doesn’t just go,” she shared. The mum-of-two explained the potentially deadly disease altered her perspective on life. “If [it] was my last day, is that how I would want to spend it?” she asked of herself.

Her gruelling battle against breast cancer involved a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She then suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sought therapy to help release her emotions in a constructive way.

Breast cancer symptoms

As with any cancer, the sooner a diagnosis is made and treatment begins, the more likely a person will recover.

The Know Your Lemons charity has created an app to remind women to check their breasts and details what to look and feel for.

The 12 signs of breast cancer are included in the Know Your Lemons smartphone app, which are:

  • Thick area of skin
  • Dimple
  • Nipple crust
  • Red or hot
  • New fluid
  • Skin sores
  • Bump
  • Growing vein
  • Sunken nipple
  • New shape or size
  • “Orange peel” skin

Dr Corrine Ellsworth-Beaumont – the founder of Know Your Lemons – champions awareness of breast cancer symptoms.

As women can experience breast changes linked to their menstrual cycle, the app is a way for women to record what is and isn’t normal for them.

In addition, the app can reveal the best time of the month to check your breasts.

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“The survival rate is over 99 percent for Stage 1 [of breast cancer]. This is why finding it as early as possible is so important,” the charity stated.

The NHS revealed that around “one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime”.

An X-ray test called a mammogram can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.

Women between the ages of 50 to 71, who are registered to their GP, will automatically be invited for breast cancer screening every three years.

However, the NHS advised anybody who can see or feel signs of breast cancer to see their GP immediately.

“Do not wait to be offered screening [in that situation],” said the NHS. “See a GP.”

The NHS added: “It’s important to be breast aware so you notice any changes as soon as possible.”

Any woman who is struggling with their breast cancer diagnosis is advised to seek support.

This could be from friends, family, breast cancer groups – so you can speak to people going through the same challenges – and charities.

The NHS also suggests it might be helpful to find out as much as possible about the condition and to “make time for yourself”.

Two charities you might want to connect with include Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK.

Amanda Mealing will be on BBC One’s Casualty on Saturday, April 3 at 8.20pm.

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