Plymouth musician documents breast cancer recovery journey to raise awareness

  • Watch: ITV West Country's Jacquie Bird went to meet the musician

A musician who was diagnosed with breast cancer has been documenting her recovery journey online to raise awareness of the disease.

Hannah Leach, from Plymouth, started vlogging after being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 30 in January this year.

She has been sharing videos on her Facebook page — Hair Today But Gone Tomorrow — to show others that a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to be the end of the world.

"When I was diagnosed, I had to decide how I was going to face the rest of the year, and I didn't want to stop life," she said.

"I wanted to carry on with as much as I could, and as a singer, I didn't want to give up music."

Hannah Leach has already raised more than £6000 for the Pink Ribbon Foundation by gigging over the past nine months.

Ms Leach, who is a vocalist for Lady Noir, Blu Soule and The Hottentot Figs, has performed regularly throughout her treatment and has only cancelled seven gigs since her diagnosis.

To celebrate her last radiotherapy treatment, she organised a two-day music festival at The Depo raising money for the Pink Ribbon Foundation.

She has already raised more than £6,000 for the charity by shaking buckets at her gigs over the past nine months.

"Recovery technically started last week, so this is the beginning of the rest of my life," she said.

"Physically I've been through the worst of it, so as long as I keep myself together mentally now and embrace the new me, things should get easier now."

Around 5000 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed at Derriford Hospital every year according to University Hospitals Plymouth.

Sian Dennison, Head of Nursing for Cancer at Derriford Hospital, said talking about your diagnosis is one of the most important ways of raising awareness of the disease.

"It takes away that stigma of cancer," she said.

"Many years ago, when I first trained, we didn't use the word cancer. We just sort of said, you've got a tumour or a lump."

She added: "We're more aware of it now. People are living longer, they're out there, they're working, they're getting on with their life and they're raising awareness for everybody about getting checked."