Sisters diagnosed with breast cancer within half hour of each other
TWO sisters were given the devastating news that they had breast cancer — within half an hour of each other.
Liz Owen, 63, and her elder sister Jill Harry, 68, were diagnosed after they both attended a breast screening at Singleton Hospital.
Ironically, Jill only attended the appointment after being badgered by her sister who was horrified she had not been screened for years.
Liz said: "As sisters we have been through the toughest times over the years, and none tougher than the day we sat in hospital together side-by-side in January to start our surgery for breast cancer.
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"Screening is free to every single person invited and it is in place to save lives. I can't stress enough to every single woman out there that to ignore your screening invitation is just crazy, you are being offered a lifeline to early diagnosis. Not attending should not be an option, make time and go, it could save your life."
The pair from Penclawdd, who were diagnosed in January, are now undergoing treatment, and hoping to go on a cruise together over Christmas.
But before then they will be taking part in the Race for Life Twilight, a 5km night-time women-only event taking place on Saturday at Swansea's Museum Green.
Liz said she was given an early diagnosis of her condition after attending her mammogram, leading to surgery followed by radiotherapy, which it is hoped will put stop the breast cancer.
But Jill's situation is more complex, as she hadn't been for screening for nine years.
Her surgery has been more extensive than that of her sister, and she has just started a course of radiotherapy, following her chemotherapy treatment.
Jill admitted had it not been for Liz's nagging to get her along to the screening on the same day as her, it was likely she would not have attended again, leaving the cancer undiagnosed.
She said: "There are many things I respect my sister for, but had it not been for her wise words there is a possibility that my cancer may have been diagnosed too late.
"It is upsetting to think what could have been, but I am here today after attending screening and thanks to the life-saving research carried out by Cancer Research UK scientists I believe that I will get through this with the right treatment."
Liz and Jill are now calling on women to remember to attend cancer screening appointments.
Karen Davis, Cancer Research UK spokesperson said: "If patients are diagnosed when cancer is still in its early stages, before it has had a chance to spread to other parts of the body, treatment is more likely to be successful.
"Our scientists will continue to focus on even more research to find out how we can get cancer diagnosed sooner and help many more people survive in the future."
Women taking part in the Twilight event are invited to walk, jog or run the 5km route. And they are being encouraged to dress up and dazzle for a girls' night out, with things that glitter and glow.
Around 700 women are expected to step out on Museum Green and help raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK's life-saving work.
To enter Race for Life Twilight at www.raceforlife.org/twilight or call 0871 641 1111.