Ipswich: A double cancer battle won’t stop Kris Henchley competing in the Race for Life in Chantry Park on Sunday

Kris Henchley is battling breast and overian cancer and is taking part in the Race for Life on Sunda

Kris Henchley is battling breast and overian cancer and is taking part in the Race for Life on Sunday to raise funds for cancer research. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A brave mother-of-two facing a double cancer battle has urged women to check for signs of the disease ahead of her Race for Life charity run.

Kris Henchley will take part in the women-only fundraiser for Cancer Research at Chantry Park on Sunday after fighting breast and ovarian cancer over the past 12 months.

The 54-year-old, from Holbrook, thanked staff at Ipswich Hospital and her family for their “care and love” which kept her fighting spirit alive.

She said: “2013 is a year I want to forget. In June, I visited my GP and was concerned that I had found a breast lump. I was sent to hospital to be checked and following a mammogram I was told I had a small breast cancer. I was going to need surgery, radiotherapy and then medication.

“In the week leading up to the surgery, feeling tired I went to lie on my bed. It was then I first felt this huge abdominal mass. Terrified, I returned to my GP. Following the breast surgery, I was sent to have an ultrasound scan of my abdomen.”

It revealed she had ovarian cancer.

“They say it is a silent killer as the symptoms are obscure and not easy to diagnose, but if you listen the symptoms scream at you,” she said.

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“They are symptoms that are frequent and persistent, and don’t go away, such as: a bloated tummy – not just bloated; after a large meal it does not go away – feeling full all the time, needing to urinate more often, changes to bowel habits and abdominal/pelvic pain.

“Some women believe that cervical screening will identify ovarian cancer, but this is not the case. Some women are also told their symptoms are related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but unless you were diagnosed early in life with IBS it is not likely to be causing these symptoms. There is a blood test called a CA125 that for some women will also indicate that there is a problem. This was true for me. The normal result is anything under 35. When I was brave enough to eventually ask what my CA125 was, it was 4369.

“So if I can help just one woman to recognise these symptoms, and get them to go to their GP, I will be very pleased.” She will run the Race for Life with her family. Donate at www.justgiving.com/wererunningformum.

Don’t miss Monday’s four-page Race for Life supplement - or see our website over the weekend for photo galleries and video.

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