Avril Saunders appeared as a Case Study in THE SUN newspaper’s Health section yesterday.
A couple of months ago Avril emailed me via my website Featureworld – which I run to help people sell their true life stories to the press. Her story was simple – she had gone for a routine mammogram (the screening test available for women to detect breast cancer early) – and been shocked to be diagnosed with cancer.
Avril, a grandmother, has never smoked, always ate healthily and took exercise and so it was the last thing she ever expected.
Worse the tumour was discovered to be aggressive and Grade three. However, because screening had caught it so early it hadn’t spread and the only treatment she needed was surgery to remove it and some radiotherapy.
I knew Avril’s story would be perfect if I were ever doing a feature on this – and on Wednesday when The Sun Health team contacted me to see if I had anyone like Avril on my books, I was able to put her forward.
The Sun were doing a feature following up on the news story that some doctors believe mammograms do more harm than good because they identify lumps that might not ever progress to cancer or spread – and then women might undergo unnecessary treatment.
However, Avril and two other ladies went into The Sun to tell women not to abandon screening – as Avril says she is proof that it does save lives. She feels lucky her breast cancer was caught early and wants to encourage other women to do the same.
Avril feels so strongly about screening that she has written a book. Called Mammograms Save Lives, it will be available from Amazon Online, Waterstones, and WH Smiths and all profits will go to Breast Cancer Care and McMillan Nurses. Find out more here.
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