Early detection is key to surviving cancer

Hardeep Sanga is proof that early detection can save lives if you pay attention to cancer symptoms

Her heightened awareness of early detection was instrumental in helping her niece survive breast cancer in 2004. Her niece told her about a lump in her breast.

Hardeep said: “It was cancer and I was with her for the six months of her treatment. I told her she wasn’t alone.”

Several years later, her sister-in-law noticed a little lump and subsquently underwent a double masectomy.

In 2009, Hardeep herself noticed what she describes as “scruffy skin” on her breast.

After an initial appointment with her GP, Hardeep was sent to King George Hospital where a biopsy was taken. A few days later an MRI scan showed she had a tumour in her chest. This was followed by a mammogram and a masectomy.

Hardeep told the Recorder: “It is because of spotting things early that I am alive today. Even a few days can make a difference.

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“The tumour was aggressive- but from seeing the GP to being in the operating theatre, it was one-and-a-half weeks and I started my new life.”

She is urging other women, particularly Asian women, to discuss their concerns with their GPs. She said: “Even though I am quite outspoken, I went on for three weeks thinking “I don’t want to bother the doctor.” But there are still Asian ladies who put their families and friends first.

“Like them, I was number 10 in the line but not anymore. I have learnt now.”