Anjna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023. She wants to represent the South Asian community and break down barriers and stigma around the disease.

About me 

I would describe myself as a naturally positive person who loves socialising and living for the moment. I think this attitude has contributed to me coping with my diagnosis.  

I live with my husband, my sons aged 8 and 10, and my dad in north-east London. I’m a civil servant and I currently work at the Home Office. In my spare time, I love interior design and cooking. Having more time at home has increased my passion for cooking. I love testing out new recipes with friends at dinner parties.  

Anjna wearing pink

I found a small lump under my armpit and didn’t realise this may be a sign of breast cancer 

I discovered the small lump in September 2023. I was referred by my GP to my local breast cancer clinic. The mammogram didn’t see evidence of breast cancer, although the biopsy results from the lump found in my lymph node did. The source of the breast cancer was only identified through an MRI scan. After further checks, it was confirmed that I had primary stage 2 cancer. I thank my lucky stars that the cancer had not spread beyond my lymph nodes. I could have easily dismissed the lump under my armpit as a sign of an infection and not visited the GP.   

I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy and I took part in the wear it pink photoshoot halfway through my treatment. Post chemotherapy, I’ll have surgery followed by radiotherapy.  

Breast cancer has impacted my life  

I’m not able to plan things in the longer term, including my career, events or holidays. But I’ve still tried to make the most of my good days by planning fun things with family and friends. This has really helped to manage my wellbeing.  

Despite doing the cold cap, my hair started to fall out after the first treatment. I received amazing support from hair companies like HeadWrappers, as well as Macmillan Cancer support and Breast Cancer Now.  

Throughout my treatment, I’ve also suffered with various other side effects. One of the most traumatic being a sore mouth which made it difficult to eat solid and spicy foods. It wasn’t something I anticipated happening. My hospital cancer care team were fabulous in providing the right support to help ease the pain. 

My mother is my key inspiration in life  

My mother became disabled at the age of 35. She totally lost her independence and had to stop working. She could not leave the house by herself.  

When my mother became disabled, I was 8 and my brother was 6. Having children of a similar age, I can really appreciate how hard my mum worked to make our lives as normal as possible and provide us with the same opportunities as others. She never complained about her illness, and despite her struggles she continued to do as much for us as she could.  

I do think it’s an admiration of her strength that’s enabled me to stay positive. It has increased my resilience to cope with my diagnosis.  

I’m also inspired by cancer awareness ambassadors such as @tit_less_wonder, @prelovedrel0ved and the @SouthAsianSupernovas. I’m inspired by their passion to increase awareness of cancer signs, demystify myths, and signpost support for people with cancer.  

I feel more confident and empowered to take risks  

One positive aspect of having cancer is that it’s given me the time to reset and reflect on what and who is really important in my life. It’s also given me the time to get round to watching those movies, decluttering and other tasks you never get round to doing. I also feel more confident and empowered to take risks and I’ve set myself new challenges to take on when I recover.  

My advice to people holding a wear it pink campaign is to keep it fun, think outside the box and use social media and other networks to get the word out there. It’s not about how much you raise either, every penny counts. 

Image of Anjna in pink

Wear it pink is an upbeat and fun way of raising money for a good cause  

I wanted to be involved in the wear it pink campaign to represent the South Asian community and break down the barriers around the disease. Often breast cancer is seen as a taboo in our community. However, that is changing slowly.  

Through wear it pink, I also wanted to showcase that you can do fun things whilst going through treatment, and you won’t always be impacted severely by the side effects. Also, my favourite colour is pink – having also worn this colour on my wedding day!  

Wear it pink like Anjna 

This October, wear pink. Raise money. Help make life-changing breast cancer research and support happen.  

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