Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I Was Refused a Test, Then I Got Breast Cancer

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I Was Refused a Test, Then I Got Breast Cancer

Article excerpt

A WOMAN who was refused a mammogram because she wasn't old enough was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer six months later.

Paula Eardley even tried to pay privately for the screening after losing her mother to the same disease three years earlier.

But again, the mum-of-one from Westhoughton was told no, because she wasn't classed as 'high risk.' .

That was in the November. The following May, Paula discovered a lump on her breast.

Her GP told her it was probably 'just a cyst', but referred her for further testing anyway. It was then that the now 50-year-old was dealt the devastating news she had aggressive grade three breast cancer - and it had spread to her lymph nodes.

"I was angry," she said. "But at the time all my mind could concentrate on was how I was I going to tell my dad and sister.

"After everything we had been through with mum, how was I going to tell them I had cancer too? "My daughter was only three years old - what if I never got to see her grow up? These for me were the hardest things."

Paula underwent a mastectomy, as well as six months of gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy, before being placed on a hormone therapy drug designed to prevent the cancer from returning.

She is now 10 years on from her diagnosis, but strongly believes she should never have been refused the screening in the first place.

"I think if I'd had it, the cancer would have shown up and there's a chance I may not have had to have a mastectomy," she told the M.E.N. For Paula and her family, cancer has always been part of their lives. Her mum, Jean, was diagnosed with the disease when she was 49. She battled breast cancer on and off for 12 years before developing secondary cancer in her womb and dying shortly afterwards.

Jean's sister also received a diagnosis for the disease, and her husband - Paula's dad - passed away in 2015 of pancreatic cancer. …

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