A LISBURN woman who was diagnosed with breast
cancer has spoken of the invaluable support she received from
the Ulster Cancer Foundations's Breast Cancer Support Group.
Karen Blythe has been attending the group for
a year after she and her sister Sandra Mcllroy were diagnosed
with breast cancer within 12 weeks of each other.
"Throughout my treatment I was never afraid -
I knew what was ahead of me as Sandra pioneered each step for
both of us. However as each person reacts differently to
treatment, I found the support groups run by UCF to be
invaluable in helping me cope physically and emotionally with my
own cancer journey," she said.
"Sandra and I both joined the Newry Breast
Cancer Support Group, which we both still attend regularly and I
also joined the Lavender Support Group. Attending these groups
has been an important part of my recovery as it has allowed me
to learn from and help other women who have been through a
She said that since she was diagnosed with
breast cancer her life has started over again.
"I don't worry about the same things I used
to worry about," she said. "I enjoy life and don't put off to
tomorrow something which I can do today. Recovery from breast
cancer is possible. There is life after a cancer diagnosis."
In Northern Ireland there are approximately
1,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year with around
120 women under the age of 45 diagnosed with the disease.
The Ulster Cancer Foundation will hold their
next meeting of their support group is on Tuesday November 27.
Known as the 'Lavender Group', it is for women under the age
of 45 and offers emotional support as well as practical
information. Topics covered include feelings of isolation;
fertility issues; concerns about body image and feelings of
T he Lavender Support Group meets on a
monthly basis and there is no commitment to attend each session.
The next meeting will be at UCF Service Centre, 40/44 Eglantine
Avenue, Belfast from 7pm – 8.30pm. For more information on UCF
support groups ring 028 9066 3281 or their helpline 0800 783