A NURSE battling breast cancer is raising awareness about the importance of attending breast screenings, urging other women: “Check your boobs!”
Specialists at Rotherham Hospital detected early signs of of the disease in nurse Bobbie Evers (49) at a routine screening in June.
Bobbie, of West Melton, had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in July, followed by a further hospital stay to treat an infection.
She hopes her ordeal will encourage other women to accept appointments when offered, allowing clinicians to detect cancer earlier.
Bobbie hosted a fundraising event in Rotherham Hospital’s reception on Monday, with proceeds donated to its breast cancer service.
She said: “I accepted a routine appointment to attend breast screening, but I felt healthy.
“I didn’t have any of the signs typically associated with breast cancer like a lump, dimpled skin, swelling or discolouration in my breast so I was confident I would be OK.
“It was a huge shock when I was invited back for a follow-up appointment and the tests showed I had cancer.
“I felt my whole world came to a stop.
“Being a nurse, I obviously knew about breast cancer but I didn’t think it would necessarily happen to me.”
Bobbie’s breast implants had to be removed after she suffered a skin infection and she is waiting to have more surgery in the new year.
“I was so well supported by everyone from the breast cancer service,” she said.
“I wanted to be able to give something back to the service and to hopefully help raise awareness about breast cancer, too.”
Bobbie’s fundraiser included a raffle, tombola, gift sale and cake sale.
Breast cancer nurses attended the event, offering advice and answering questions about screening.
Bobbie added: “I’m absolutely bowled over by the support I’ve received for the fundraising event from my colleagues, friends and family.
“I hope we raise as much money as possible and, if more women take up their screening appointments, then sharing my experience will definitely be worth it.”
Each year around 11,500 women and 80 men die from breast cancer — nearly 1,000 people every month.
But, thanks to research, more than 80 per cent of women with breast cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis.
Gabby Atmarow, of the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, added: “We’re incredibly lucky to have such passionate and dedicated colleagues like Bobbie.
“The charity will designate any funds raised at Bobbie’s event for the breast cancer service and we will work together to ensure any additional equipment or resources purchased above and beyond what the NHS can and should afford will really help benefit patients like her in future.”