Dawn Butler has spoken about how she told family and friends that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Butler found out she had cancer in November and has since recovered.
Speaking to Metro, the Labour MP explained how she has joined a campaign, A Million MIssed Mammograms, in order to try and persuade other women to have screenings as soon as possible.
“You can survive breast cancer, and the earlier you find it the better,” she said. “It’s really hard to tell people. I had to find a way to – I trialled out different ways.
“A lot of times, those I told would collapse in pieces, and you have to look after them as well as dealing with the fact that you’re having to deal with it.”
Butler explained that she had a common way of starting conversations with loved ones when breaking the news to them.
“I ended up starting conversations with: ‘I’m not dying, but I have some bad news’. I found that was the best way to break the news to people.”
At first, she only told her sister and mother.
“It was tough,” Butler recalled of that moment. “I composed myself, started speaking when she answered, and then just broke down.
“My sister started crying too, although she didn’t know why as I hadn’t even managed to get the words out.”
The NHS states that around one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
“There’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected at an early stage,” it adds. “For this reason, it’s vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always have any changes examined by a GP.”
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