Yvonne Oldham, a Dementia Support Worker, attended a mammogram appointment in December 2015 which picked up a small cancerous mass on her chest wall. Now, after undergoing two surgeries and a course of chemotherapy, Yvonne wants mothers to put their health and their family first and go for screening.
She said: “I’m so thankful I went for that mammogram on 17 December 2015. If I’m brutally honest, I wasn’t going to go, I was too busy, I had numerous work commitments, last minute Christmas shopping to do, and my health really wasn’t a priority. Thankfully, my husband-to-be, Wayne, wouldn’t take no for an answer and made me go.
Attending that ten minute appointment has given me the next chapter of my life. My treatment is finished and my outlook to life now is to chill out, plan holidays, wait for the grandchildren to come along and enjoy every day to the full but I don’t like to think about what might have happened if I’d not attended that appointment. My daughter might not have had her mum this Mother’s Day.
Yvonne had no signs or symptoms and was called for breast screening as part of a programme which screens women aged 50 to 70. Some ladies are selected as part of a pilot scheme so will be called for screening from aged 47 to 73. The appointments take place at the breast screening unit at Rotherham Hospital which has an all-female team.
Speaking about her experience at Rotherham Hospital, Yvonne said: “Rotherham Hospital and the entire team of staff who looked after me were so caring, supportive and professional. The mammogram detected something that I couldn’t feel myself – I had no idea. It just goes to show how important screening really is.”
Faye Foers, Breast Screening Programme Manager at Rotherham Hospital, said: “I’d like to thank Yvonne for sharing her story, it just goes to show how important breast screening really is. Mammograms can detect cancer before any visible signs or symptoms develop and it’s this early detection that gives you the best chance of successful treatment and a full recovery.
“So please, let’s use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to encourage our loved ones to take up their breast screening invitations.”
Yvonne, who has finished her treatment and has recently married her husband Wayne, talks about her relationship with cancer: “I still have my emotional moments when I hear or see somebody that is starting that journey as I did with cancer. I lost two years of my life to it, but laughed along the way, met some fantastic people and survivors like myself. I just hope that my story convinces even just one woman to not ignore her screening invitation.”
If you have received your screening invite but cannot make the appointment or you think you have missed an appointment, you can call the team on:
- Rotherham – 01709 424807
- Doncaster – 01302 644966
- Bassetlaw – 01909 502193
- Sheffield – 0114 271 1920
- Barnsley – 01226 432100