A mum-of-two has said that drying her hair "saved her life" when she noticed the signs of double breast cancer.
Susan Hunter-Dabson from Moggerhanger in Bedfordshire noticed something unusual about the appearance of her left breast when drying her hair as she raised her arm.
After having scans, the former driving instructor was told she had a 6cm tumour on her left breast and another mass on her right breast. She was then diagnosed with Grade 2 invasive bilateral cancer in both breasts.
Mrs Hunter-Dabson said: “I was drying my hair and as I lifted my arm, the round, cup part of my breast went flat. I was a G-cup so it was difficult to feel anything but I knew the appearance wasn't right.
"Because my mum had been diagnosed with cancer young and beaten it, I decided to go to the GP. He reassured me and said he didn’t think I had anything to worry about but referred me anyway.
"Whilst I was worried about the results, I was convinced that it wouldn’t be anything too serious. My husband, Simon, came along to my appointment and I’m so glad he was there because out of the blue I was told I had cancer."It was such a shock as I really couldn’t comprehend me having cancer. I was numb after being told I had a 6cm mass in my left breast, then during the course of the investigations, the doctors found another primary cancer in my right breast."
Mrs Hunter-Dabson was told the cancer was treatable and had a six-month course of chemotherapy.
"Once I finished my chemo I had surgery to remove some breast tissue. I had four operations in total and four weeks of radiotherapy. It was pretty much a full year of appointments and treatment but you’re so pleased that they are treating you."I did have some nights when I woke up wondering if I would make it but then I was told the amazing news that I was in remission and I knew that I had a future. It was the biggest relief."I sat in my car after hearing that and burst into tears. That was the only time I broke down during the whole ordeal as I was just so relieved."
As a mum of two daughters, Katie, 25, and Holly, 24, doctors also tested Mrs Hunter-Dabson for the faulty BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which came back clear.
"Cancer changed my life in so many ways. Now I really value and appreciate every day. I am so grateful to still be here and I don’t take my health for granted anymore," said Mrs Hunter-Dabson.
She is now raising money for Cancer Research UK by taking part in the charity's Cycle 300 campaign and has raised £6,000 for the charity.
Elisa Mitchell, from Cancer Research's Bedfordshire branch, said: "For the past 20 years, the incredible generosity and commitment of people like Susan has helped Cancer Research UK make discoveries that have saved countless lives and which benefit millions of people around the world. But we have so much more to do.“That’s why we hope Susan’s story will spark a chain-reaction across Bedfordshire that will help us keep investing in science today to deliver the treatments of tomorrow."