Norfolk MP opens up about breast cancer diagnosis

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk MP has described the "marathon" ahead of her after learning of a breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year.

Chloe Smith, member of parliament for Norwich North, revealed last month that she had been diagnosed with cancer after discovering a lump in her breast.

In an interview broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk, Ms Smith said she hoped that sharing her experience would encourage others to seek help and get themselves checked before it is too late.

She said: "Towards the end of September I felt a lump in my breast and I was really well aware of the idea that if you find that you should go and get it checked out.

"So I rang my GP and despite all the Covid restrictions we had a phone conversation straight away and within half an hour I was standing at the surgery getting checked, so I had a really prompt response which I am very grateful for."

The checks then became a series of tests which revealed the diagnoses Ms Smith had been dreading - it was breast cancer.

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She added: "The good news within that is it has not spread so I am looking at a programme of treatment to get rid of it.

"That is six or seven months of chemotherapy and surgery so it is a bit of a marathon for me right now."

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Ms Smith said that she was "feeling well" following her first round of chemotherapy - with well wishes and messages of support proving a great help to her.

She added: "I feel really buoyed up by all the support and love that all sorts of people are giving me and that does make a difference."

And she went on to urge anybody who has a similar experience not to be put off getting checked by the Covid-19 pandemic..

She said: "People should use the NHS in exactly this way - it is there for us all and it is critical you do not hold back because you think it is taken up with coronavirus.

"It is there for these serious issues and the reason we have had the restrictions in place is so it is able to do this. So if you have any qualms, just do it."

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