When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Today’s the day as mum tackles cancer head-on
A WOMAN will today have both her healthy breasts removed.
Louise Preece said she has been overwhelmed by the wave of support from her home town and even complete strangers since going public with her plan in an exclusive interview in the Oxford Mail.
Mrs Preece, 40 and from Grove, near Wantage, is undergoing a 14-hour preventative double mastectomy at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, which she hopes will reduce her chances of developing cancer from eighty per cent to eight per cent.
The accountant has spent the last nine years watching her own mother, Linda Clark, 65 and from Wantage, battle ovarian cancer, then a brain tumour and now breast cancer, which has spread to her bones, spine and liver.
While Mrs Preece cannot be sure she carries the same so-called cancer gene as her mother, geneticists have advised her to have the operation in case cancer strikes.
She said: “Since appearing in the Oxford Mail a week ago I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support I have received.
“People have come up to me and wished me the best of luck. And lots of people, some of whom I haven’t spoken to in years, have contacted me through Facebook and said I am brave tackling cancer head-on.
“I have even received a parcel from an Oxford Mail reader, with some books on cancer he said he hoped would help my mum and me. It’s been incredibly touching.”
Mrs Preece has already had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lessen her chances of developing cancer.
She said: “Last night I had a lovely family meal with my son Steven , my husband Peter  and my mum and dad.
“Although I know they are all probably nervous about what I am doing, I know they are right behind me.”
Mrs Preece said she had been making an effort to keep busy in the run-up to her op.
“I have been doing chores – like visiting my mum and dad and renewing my car tax.”