EVEN though she checked herself regularly, it took a scan to find a cancerous lump in Maryann Murray’s breast.
And that’s why the 64-year-old of The Green, Rowlands Castle, is urging women to go for a free check-up, which coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
‘I get a letter like most people to get my breasts checked every three years, said retired Maryann.
‘I went for mine in February this year and in March I was recalled to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, because they had found something suspicious – a small ductal tumour in my right breast.
‘I always check myself anyway. I think ‘why not, you never know you might find something?’.
‘My doctor said I never would have found the lump myself.
‘And if I hadn’t gone to the free check, that’s another three years I would’ve waited’
Maryann had a lumpectomy in April – a procedure that removes the lump only and not the breast.
She added: ‘It’s suicide to not get checked.
‘It’s something for nothing and it only takes 10 minutes of your time.
‘It is a bit uncomfortable, but then so is going to the dentist.
‘If you’re are frightened, then they shouldn’t be.
‘The nurses are professional and make you feel at ease.’
While Maryann was having her lumpectomy, surgeons checked her lymph nodes using a pioneering technique.
The Breast Lymph Node Assay is a procedure that involves checking lymph glands under the arm to see if the cancer has spread further, while the patient is having surgery to remove the breast tumour.
‘I was told that if I woke up with a tube coming out of my arm, then the cancer will have spread.
‘Thankfully I didn’t, but I think the procedure is a great idea.
‘It’s one less bed you take up, one less surgical procedure, and the service should be applauded.’