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Despite having no family history, Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. Since then she’s found support from her friends, family and work colleagues.


I was diagnosed with stage three, oestrogen positive breast cancer at 31 years old. I have no previous family history and my only symptom was a lump in my breast.  

Before this point I never checked my breasts for changes/ lumps, I knew breast cancer happened but I was under the impression it happened to other people... older people, and not something I needed to worry about at 31.  

Since my first initial GP appointment and subsequent referral for assessment and ultra scan my life has been flipped upside down.  

On the 2nd of August 2020 I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I remember walking in and being met by a consultant and specialist breast care nurse and while I led down to be examined, I remember just staring up to the ceiling repeating to myself “I have cancer”. It felt so alien and far away from my every day life. I remember being so frustrated that I hadn’t noticed this large lump sooner as I am a nurse, I remember thinking I should have been more on it.

I have since had a full mastectomy and lymph node clearance. 15 lymph nodes were confirmed as cancerous and I had multiple tumours in my breast that went right up to my chest wall. Totalling more than 5cm.  

As chemotherapy can cause infertility I was referred to have my eggs harvested and frozen. Which I am so thankful to the NHS for, the potential infertility for me almost hurt more than the cancer. I haven’t had children yet and I didn’t want that option taken away from me. Cancer is already taking my time and likely my hair, it’s not having my future children too!  

My next steps are chemotherapy and then radiotherapy, which I will be starting in the next two weeks. My chemotherapy looks to be just under 6 months and I must admit it is a scary prospect, especially in covid times but one that has to be done.

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