A WOMAN has told how she was diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing a lump while on a plane returning from holiday.

Kerryn Steel is now calling on others to back an appeal to help boost the Beatson Cancer Charity’s complimentary wellbeing services, who provided lifeline support during the treatment which followed her shock discovery.

The 31-year-old was diagnosed with stage one grade three ductal breast cancer last October after discovering the growth on her left side while journeying home.

Kerryn, from Bellshill in North Lanarkshire, said: “I went straight to my GP and was then referred to the breast clinic for more checks. It all happened quite quickly, after I was diagnosed I had an MRI and then surgery in November.”

She made use of some of the charity's wellbeing services on offer during her treatment and says the centre near her home was vital in helping her through some of her darkest moments.

Kerryn adds: “Everyone has heard of the Beatson’s main centre in the grounds of Gartnavel and the amazing work they do there, but it was great to learn that there is other help available out there too under its umbrella.

Glasgow Times: Kerryn as she took part in the KiltwalkKerryn as she took part in the Kiltwalk (Image: Supplied)

“The Lanarkshire Beatson is a lovely place; the people are so friendly and I was made to feel so welcome. It is a fantastic facility for anyone on a cancer journey.

“I wasn’t allowed to get a massage on my top half just because of the treatment I was getting, so I got my nails done.  

“I had to take all mines off for surgery and I never got around to getting them replaced, so it was nice to get them done again. 

“During my appointment, we didn’t really speak about my treatment or cancer or anything like that, it was so refreshing to have a chat with someone that wasn’t all centred around cancer.”

Now Kerryn is backing the Beatson Cancer Charity’s Wellbeing Appeal to ensure more patients and their families across the west of Scotland can benefit from its services. 

The charity is asking supporters to help in its mission to deliver a wide range of services - including complementary therapies - at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow and its eight satellite units across the west of Scotland. 

Glasgow Times: The Lanarkshire BeatsonThe Lanarkshire Beatson (Image: Supplied)

These are based at Lanarkshire Beatson, pictured above, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Vale of Leven Hospital and The Vale of Leven Centre for Health and Care, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and New Victoria Hospital. Services on offer include massages, manicures and pedicures, reflexology and facials, hairdressing, wig-fitting and podiatry. 

Virtual services are also offered to patients that can’t make it into the hospital, meaning they can dial in from the comfort of their home and enjoy a relaxation session with a fully trained therapist. These sessions can also benefit carers and family members who are looking after someone undergoing treatment.

Over 9000 patients used the wellbeing services last year – and now the charity wants to help grow this number even further.

Claire Bradley, head of wellbeing at the Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer these types of services to cancer patients across the west of Scotland, but we can’t do this without donations from the public. 

“We provide different support to help ease the worry and discomfort of patients and families. 

“Donations to this appeal help us to provide complementary therapies to patients, which helps alleviate stress, promote a sense of wellbeing and ease anxiety.” 

To donate, visit: https://www.beatsoncancercharity.org/the-latest/2023/september/wellbeing-appeal/