JUST days before her 29th birthday last year, Victoria Lyall was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Now she is urging women to sign up to this year’s Pink Ribbon Walk and support the charity which is helping her stay strong in her ongoing fight with the disease.
Miss Lyall, from Abingdon, is one of the six per cent of UK breast cancer sufferers under 30.
A letting agent with Finders Keepers in Summertown, Oxford, she said: “I found a small breast lump whilst in the shower in August last year.
“But I put off going to my doctor for about five weeks and even when I did go I was sure he would tell me it wasn’t anything serious.
“As well as being only 28 at the time, I have a large family with no history of cancer. “So even when the GP sent me for tests at the hospital I still didn’t really tell anyone, but just went along, had the three tests and waited for the results, thinking it was just a cyst.”
Miss Lyall, right, had an examination, an ultrasound and a needle aspiration test which recorded inconclusive results. She then underwent a biopsy and just five days before her 29th birthday was told she had the disease.
She said: “I was so shocked. I just could not believe it. But the wheels were in motion with a date for surgery set and I just decided I had to get on with things.”
An MRI scan showed there was just one tumour in Miss Lyall’s breast and it had not spread to her lymph nodes. Three weeks later it was removed.
She said: “Last week I started my first week of four weeks of radiotherapy. There have been no real side-effects yet, but they don’t usually start this early.
“Even so I am coping well and feel so lucky I am here in Oxford with such excellent hospitals and doctors.”
In addition to her family’s support, Miss Lyall turned to Breast Cancer Care, the charity behind the Pink Ribbonwalk which takes place at Blenheim on May 11.
She explained: “As I am going through radiotherapy at the moment, (followed by five years taking Tamoxifen), I am too weak to take part in this year’s Ribbonwalk. “But I hope to be there next year. It would be uplifting after all my treatment and the perfect way to give something back to this great charity.”
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
- The Pink Ribbonwalk traces a 10-mile and 20-mile route through Blenheim and its surrounding villages and all money raised goes to Breast Cancer Care.
- Registration costs £30, with walkers required to raise a minimum of £175 sponsorship.
- Register to take part at: www.pinkribbonwalk.org.uk or call 0870 145 0101.
- For more information on Brest Cancer Care free services go to breastcancercare.org.uk