Fiona Welsh on her battle against breast cancer

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FIONA Welsh has become a firm believer in fate – and she’s confident it’s on her side.

But she says it was only her decision to lose weight which led to her discovery of the lump in her left breast.

“It is fate that I discovered this from losing weight,” said the dental nurse. “I feel incredibly lucky – who knows what could have happened had I not have found that lump?”

Miss Welsh, who works at Community Dental Services in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, was diagnosed with cancer of the breast’s milk duct – ductal carcinoma. She began chemotherapy on Monday having previously undergone a mastectomy, to remove the cancerous area in her breast, and re-constructive surgery.

Miss Welsh decided to lose weight in January after she made dropping her dress size a new year’s resolution.

She joined Slimming World’s group at Pinewood Community Centre on January 4 and within six weeks she had lost about seven pounds. It was at that point that she discovered the lump.

But Miss Welsh, who lives in Sycamore Close, Ipswich, thought it was a cyst and didn’t go to the doctors immediately because she was concentrating on an exam she was due to sit. When she eventually sought medical advice, she was dealt the devastating news.

“If I hadn’t have started losing weight then the future would have been really bleak for me,” she said. “If I hadn’t have lost the weight I honestly don’t believe I would have found out I had cancer until it was too late.

“I feel immensely grateful for the fact that I went to Slimming World and that it was found through me losing weight.”

On May 15, Miss Welsh had a mastectomy and re-constructive surgery.

As she continues her recovery from the operation, which took place at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, she now faces four bouts of chemotherapy. Before starting her treatment she had her embryos frozen so she would be able to have children in the future.

And despite her own battle with the disease, she is determined to raise awareness of the importance of women checking themselves for lumps.

“If you find a lump or if you’re concerned about anything, just go and get yourself checked,” she said.

Send your messages of support to Fiona care of Hollie-Rae Merrick, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to hollie-rae.merrick@archant.co.uk

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