A YOUNG woman is full of praise for the treatment she received after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
But Laura Hunter, aged 26, from Kyre, near Bromyard, wants to see more support for younger people with cancer.
She says that, in her experience, the support groups locally tend largely to be aimed at older people.
“Anyone at any age can be affected by cancer and, in my experience, there is limited help in the form of support groups to help young adults cope during and after treatment,” said Laura, who works at Hereford law firm Lanyon Bowdler.
Laura’s cancer story began when she was just 24.
“I found a lump when I was lying down and was concerned so I went to see my GP in Tenbury,” said Laura.
“The GP was brilliant and I was referred to Kidderminster Hospital. I was given an ultrasound, followed by biopsies because a suspicious areas was found on the scan.”
Laura had been expecting to hear the results by telephone.
“But I got a voicemail message on the Friday to tell me to come to the hospital on Monday to receive my results in person,” added Laura.
“I was told that I had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.”
There followed a period of extensive treatment at Kidderminster, Worcester and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham – including radiotherapy.
But the treatment is not over for Laura who faces 18 cycles and 10 years of hormone therapy with Herceptin and Tamoxifen to help prevent the cancer from returning.
“I was fortunate in that I reported my concerns early and was given an early referral and treatment,” said Laura. “If women or men have concerns or notice a change, I urge them to go to their GP.
“It’s not always a lump; signs of breast cancer can include pain, redness, nipple changes, swelling or change in texture, shape or size.”
Laura says that one of the problems she has found is a lack of support for younger people with cancer. She believes there is a particular need for a support group for young adults where people can share their experiences and help each other.
“I have met individuals through online support forums, but it would be good to see a regular and established cancer support group for young adults to share experiences and support each other,” she added.