Laura Hughes

Laura Hughes, UK

DIAGNOSED AT 25

Tell us who you are, your age and a little bit about your story?
I began my journey with breast cancer when I was 25. I found a small lump in my left breast and went through a year of treatment including chemo and a mastectomy. After which, alongside my breast reconstruction I began to rebuild my life and find my new normal. But in October 2016, aged 28, I was re-diagnosed with stage 4 incurable breast cancer and now receive treatment every 3 weeks to keep me stable.

Tell us about the moment you first noticed a symptom of breast cancer?
I discovered a pea sized lump one morning whilst in the shower. I was in Australia travelling and usually using a washing mitt. I hadn’t got it out of my bag and therefore was just using my bare hands for shower gel. And it was this day I discovered the lump unexpectedly.

Did you ever think that breast cancer could affect you? If not, why?
I was 25. Too young I thought. I had never known anyone that age to get cancer. I never even checked my boobs and had never been told I should or what to look for.

How did the experience/treatment affect your relationship with yourself?
Initially I lost confidence and hated myself and my body. I found I lost some friends, but gained a heap of new ones who really understood me. Over the years I grew to love myself and found a new confidence I never knew I had. Cancer has made me live life to the full as much as I can. I say yes to most things and have a new appreciation into each day.

What’s the one thing you would say to young women out there who are not checking their breasts regularly?
It only takes 5 minutes of your life every month to check your breasts and may save you having to endure what I have been through.

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