Doncaster woman, 25, one of youngest in country to have double mastectomy after mum and gran's breast cancer

A Doncaster woman has become one of the youngest people in the country to have a double mastectomy because both her mum and gran died from cancer.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 19 July, 2019, 10:30

Joanna Megson was diagnosed with a faulty BRCA gene in 2017, which meant that her chances of developing breast cancer were as high as 85 percent.

The 25-year-old graduate, whose mother and grandmother both lost their lives to cancer, volunteered to undergo a bilateral mastectomy – both breasts removed - which has reduced her chance of breast cancer by 90 percent.

Joanna Megson of Doncaster.

She said: “The statistics were shocking. It felt inevitable that I’d follow in the footsteps of my mum and grandmother.”

“I thought, “this is the only thing that will save my life”.

“With my family history, screening didn’t seem enough to prevent it. Surgery seemed the best thing to do, but I was still absolutely terrified.

“It would mean never being able to breastfeed. I was worried about the risk of infection and that the reconstruction might not work.

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“I worried about not waking up from the anaesthetic, having no sensation in my breasts and what they’d look like.”

She has set up a group – Breast Cancer Dancers – to help survivors of breast cancer come together and support each other.

She said: “It’s nice to hear everyone else’s stories, and it makes me realise that I’m really lucky because I’ve had the opportunity to prevent what they’ve been through.

“One woman told me that because of our group she feels normal again.”

She also fundraises for charity Breast Cancer Now for which she raised £6,000.

She underwent the op in 2018 in a six-hour operation at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, with reconstruction using silicone implants.