A WOMAN living with breast cancer says it is ‘not a death sentence’ and is urging people not to be afraid to check themselves.

Carrie-Anne Callan was diagnosed with stage 2a breast cancer in June after she discovered a lump while in the shower on holiday in Jamaica.

The 34-year-old from Whitehaven made a doctor’s appointment when she returned home and it was initially thought to be a fatty mass.

Whitehaven News: Carrie-Anne Callan is raising awareness of breast cancer while receiving treatmentCarrie-Anne Callan is raising awareness of breast cancer while receiving treatment (Image: Submitted)

She was referred to the breast clinic where she underwent multiple tests. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks later and given a treatment plan.

Carrie-Anne has praised West Cumberland Hospital for moving so quickly. She has now undergone 13 out of 16 rounds of chemotherapy at the Henderson Suite and is also having immunotherapy.

She said: “The nurses are brilliant. It’s really upbeat and I look forward to going, which sounds weird!”

Carrie-Anne has been sharing her cancer journey on Instagram and hopes sharing the treatment process will encourage more women to check themselves and reduce the fear of a cancer diagnosis.

She said: “I’m trying to get people checking who wouldn’t think of doing it. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

“I think people think, ‘it will never happen to me, I’m too young, I’m healthy.’ I’m relatively young, healthy, not overweight, don’t smoke.

“What I would like to get across is, don’t be terrified of it. People think it’s a death sentence and the treatment is grueling. Yes, it’s difficult but it’s not undoable.

“I’ve lived the last three or four months. I’ve been out and about and done loads of stuff. I want people to not be scared. So many people don’t want to know but it doesn’t go away.

“If you catch it early, you can treat it. Although the treatment can be rubbish, if you have to do it, you could.”

Carrie-Anne has also raised over £10,000 for The Little Princess Trust with various fundraisers.

Whitehaven News: Carrie Anne has donated 15 inches of her hair to The Little Princess TrustCarrie Anne has donated 15 inches of her hair to The Little Princess Trust (Image: Submitted)

She has also donated 15 inches of her hair to the charity, which will be used to make a wig for a young person who has lost their hair due to cancer treatment or other conditions.

Breast symptoms to look out for:

  • a new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • a change in size, shape or feel of your breast
  • skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding
  • changes in the position of the nipple