A Lancaster mum who battled breast cancer for three years has been given the all clear but is urging more women to check themselves as the nation marks Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Andrea Partridge was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2012.
I’m a ticking time bomb basicallyAndrea Partridge
After facing years of gruelling treatment and reconstructive surgery the mum-of-three has now been given the all clear but her journey is far from over.
The 48-year-old is preparing for a new chapter as a cancer survivor and has said women need to act fast if they notice any unusual changes.
Andrea said: “It all started when I noticed changes in my nipple. It looked inverted.
“I waited another 12 weeks before deciding to see my GP, he then referred me for urgent tests and it turned out to be the worst news imaginable.
“Anything that doesn’t feel normal you must go and check it out, don’t do what I do and just keep an eye on it.”
Following her serious ‘stage 3’ cancer diagnosis, Andrea immediately began a course of treatment that included chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a mastectomy on her left side and surgery to remove her lymph nodes.
More recently, Andrea went under the knife again for 10 hours of reconstructive surgery.
Andrea, a volunteer and engagement coordinator at Lancaster’s CancerCare, said: “Despite everything I’ve been through this is actually the hardest time of all for me.
“You get so used to attending hospital appointments and being looked after so when all your treatment is finally over you feel really cut off.
“The scariest thing for me now is what if the cancer comes back? I’m a ticking time bomb basically.”
Andrea has been told there is a 50/50 chance of it coming back but remains upbeat about her future.
She said: “I felt so guilty seeing pain in their faces. Now, I know my family are in a much better place. CancerCare have been there for me throughout everything.”