Meet Beth. She was just 22 and busy planning her wedding when she noticed a hardening on the top of her breast.
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Just one month after her wedding in 2013, Beth was told she had breast cancer. She was 22 years old. Beth and Mikey had been together five years and had a beautiful 18-month old daughter, Amelia.
We were both weak with shock – we were newly married, looking at buying a house, settling down and starting our life together. I kept thinking of Amelia. She was too young to understand any of this, but I knew how much she needed me.
The day after her diagnosis, Beth discovered she was pregnant with their second child.
As her cancer was very aggressive she had been advised to start her chemotherapy straight away, and not to delay treatment, and so after discussing it at length with her medical team, Beth and Mikey made the very difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy.
I faced the stark choice of terminating my much-longed for pregnancy or risking my life by delaying my urgent treatment - and what would that mean for Amelia’s future?
Sadly, a few months later, Beth found out the cancer had spread to her hip and pelvis and was now incurable.
But four and a half years on, Beth is still with her family and living her life to the full as much as she can. She’s now on a combination of drugs including hormone therapy and Herceptin which are currently working well. She treasures every day with Mikey and Amelia, making memories together while they still can.
How you can help
Our regular newsletter shares news about our research and campaigning and offers you ways to get involved and help us make life-saving research happen. By 2050 we want everyone who develops breast cancer to live and live well but we can only do this if we all act now.
Pregnancy and cancer
If you are pregnant when you are due to have treatment for breast cancer, it is very important to discuss this with your breast care team. Some treatments are safe during pregnancy, whereas others are not. Your breast care team should discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with you. Mummy’s Star is a dedicated charity supporting pregnancy and cancer.
Hope for the future
Breast Cancer Now is the largest UK charity dedicated to funding research solely into breast cancer. Much of our research focuses on finding new treatments to give women like Beth more time. We’ve revolutionised the way breast cancer is treated through the discovery of targeted drugs with fewer side effects and improved surgery and radiotherapy options.
We are funding nearly 380 scientists across the UK and Ireland and we’re determined to find the answers needed to prevent breast cancer, detect it earlier, treat it better and stop it spreading to other parts of the body and taking lives.
Getting treatment to patients
Alongside working tirelessly to make sure that new drugs are being researched, developed and tested we also campaign to save lives by ensuring access to the best treatments and care for all breast cancer patients. Thanks to our campaigning work, innovative drugs like Kadcyla are giving women with secondary breast cancer, precious extra time with their families.