SHE has beaten cancer twice and has now vowed to help others.
And Golcar mother of two Christine Young admits: “It has made me a much stronger person.”
She benefited from a study aimed at improving patients’ follow-up care.
Mrs Young, 53, has twice beaten breast cancer and is now taking part in a scheme run by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
Mrs Young said: “I was first diagnosed in 1998 and they removed a lump, but in 2010 the cancer came back and I underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
“It changed my whole outlook but it has made me a much stronger person.
“I was given the all clear at the end of last year and offered the chance to take part in the study.”
Mrs Young is one of 200 women who have so far taken part in the trust’s study which offers follow-up group sessions instead of one-to-one appointments to survivors.
She added: “I have really enjoyed the sessions. When you know you have a hospital appointment you psyche yourself up, just being in the surroundings can bring it all back.
“The sessions are informal and I have learnt as much from the sessions as I have from the others in my group.
“They teach you nutrition and a whole host of tips and checks to make, and if you are concerned at any time you can be referred straight back to the hospital team. You don’t need to wait.”
Dr Jo Dent, consultant oncologist who has been leading the team, said: “This approach makes sure that breast cancer survivors get the care, support and information they need to lead active, healthy lives, without unnecessary visits to hospital.
“The women who have taken part in the trial have gelled as a group and their response has been fantastic.
“They still have an annual mammography and at any time they have access to a clinical appointment to raise concerns so they don’t have to go back to their GP.
“It also means we can free up clinic time by not seeing healthy women which will allow us to reduce waiting times for other patients.”
The study has been undertaken in collaboration with Breast Cancer Care, a national charity, the Yorkshire Cancer Network and the University of Huddersfield.