Positive outlook, keeping fit, no dairy and lots of herbal tea - Norwich businesswoman shares her success in beating cancer

Susan Helps at her hairdressers in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith Susan Helps at her hairdressers in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Adam Gretton adam.gretton@archant.co.uk
Monday, July 7, 2014
9:34 AM

When Susan Helps was diagnosed with breast cancer, she made a vow to adopt a healthier lifestyle and pledged to not let the disease beat her.

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Susan Helps at her hairdressers in Norwich. Photo: Bill SmithSusan Helps at her hairdressers in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

The Norwich hair salon owner was told that the average life expectancy for the aggressive form of cancer was two and a half years after she discovered a lump on her breast and was given the devastating news that it was the ‘Big C’.

The 48-year-old, who lives in the Golden Triangle, is set to mark her sixth anniversary of fighting cancer this week.

The businesswoman, who has run FresHair and Barbers, in Avenue Road, Norwich for the last four years, said she believed her positive attitude and healthy mantra of cutting out dairy from her diet, keeping fit and drinking lots of herbal tea had been the keys to her success.

Miss Helps said she hoped to inspire others fighting cancer after being diagnosed on July 10 2008, just five weeks after running the Norwich Race for Life in memory of her late mother Diana who died from breast cancer in 2001 aged 67.

She said the doctors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital had saved her life after undergoing a three hour operation in August 2008 to remove the tumour and have reconstruction surgery.

She also underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and has Zoladex injections in her stomach every 11 weeks to control her hormone levels.

Miss Helps, who is also hoping to become an holistic therapist, has worked throughout her illness and turned her salon into an eco-friendly one because she believes working with strong chemicals during her hairdressing career harmed her health.

She helps others going through hair loss by offering free advice and wig cutting and styling. She also urged women to check their breasts regularly for lumps.

“My doctors are shocked. They have told me twice that I should not be here. I am still in awe that I am still here. I am positive and enjoy every day I wake up.”

“The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been fantastic. They saved my Life. I never dreamt when I was on oxygen and morphine for two days after my surgery that I would still be here fighting. I love every day and strive to do as much as I can,” she said.

Have you got a health story? Email adam.gretton@archant.co.uk

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