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Canterbury mum Tracy Hazelden urges women to attend mammograms after early cancer diagnosis

A mum-of-six is urging women to attend their mammograms after hers helped secure an early cancer diagnosis.

Tracy Hazelden, 49, of Hales Place, Canterbury, was told she had breast cancer in November last year following an annual screening.

Women are not usually eligible for yearly checks until they are in their 50s, but Mrs Hazelden requested them after her mum died of the disease in her 40s.

Tracy Hazelden and her dog Teddy (2580577)
Tracy Hazelden and her dog Teddy (2580577)

Despite her forward-thinking, the news shocked her: "I was really scared and frightened.

“I knew before the biopsy that something wasn’t right. I felt worried about my children more than anything.

“But it quickly became apparent that I had a good prognosis, and I’ve adjusted to it now and just got on with it.”

Fortunately, because Mrs Hazelden's signs were spotted early, she has undergone two operations since Christmas and is currently having radiotherapy.

As a result, Mrs Hazelden has been told to take a tablet once a day for five years and that she will not need chemotherapy.

"I feel extremely lucky and fortunate," she said. "I’m happy to have radiotherapy. If it’s caught early through screenings, it normally rules out chemo. That’s what early diagnosis is all about.

“My friends and family have been fantastic. They’ve been so supportive and I couldn’t have got through it without them all.”

Tracy Hazelden, centre, with her children and their families (2580575)
Tracy Hazelden, centre, with her children and their families (2580575)

To help raise funds and awareness, the grandmother-of-six will be donning pink on Sunday morning at the Herne Bay Race for Life.

She hopes her story will show others it does not have to be scary: “I would encourage women - and men - to go for screenings, especially if there’s a family history.”

Mrs Hazelden will be walking the 5km route with her daughters Sophie Walsh, 23, and Lily Hazelden, eight.

Her daughter-in-laws Holly, 27, and Charlotte, 29, and her son Ben's girlfriend Molly, 23, will also be taking part with her young grand-daughters Daisy, three, and Isla, nine months.

The family have formed the team Pauline's Angels, named after Tracy's mother.

To donate, visit their Race for Life group fundraising page.

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