The mother and daughter who were diagnosed with breast cancer on the SAME DAY
Karen Williams and Diane Leach also had surgery on the same dayWere both diagnosed in February last year and are now recovering
Having a mother who had breast cancer doubles a woman's risk

By
Emma Innes

PUBLISHED:

10:57 GMT, 25 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:02 GMT, 25 April 2013

Karen Williams and her mother, Diane Leach, were both diagnosed with breast cancer on the same day

Karen Williams and her mother, Diane Leach, were both diagnosed with breast cancer on the same day

A mother and daughter are recovering after both were diagnosed with breast cancer on the same day.

Karen Williams and her mother, Diane Leach, also underwent surgery on the same day as each other, with the same surgeon.

When they were recovering they were in adjacent wards and could knock on the wall to communicate.

Both were diagnosed in February last year after finding lumps in their right breasts.

Mrs Williams told of the moment when she and partner, Stuart Burnside, went to tell her mother she'd sound a pea-sized lump while showering.

'I told her I'd found a lump, and she said so have I. I thought she was joking.

'I went to my GP and she went to hers. I went for a mammogram a few days later and didn't realise my mum was also going. My partner Stuart saw her as we were in the queue.'

She added: 'I was showering when I felt a lump.

'I didn't like the feel of it. Straight away I thought it
was cancer. I went to Stuart and said I knew I had it. I just kept
thinking oh my God.

'The doctor thought it might just be a cyst and sent
me for a mammogram, but I knew.'

Mother and daughter are now well on the way to recovery after their treatment at the Countess of Chester Hospital, in Cheshire.

Amazingly, their cancers were not caused by a faulty gene and were not hereditary.

‘It was a crazy situation last year to both be diagnosed on the same day and my two sisters and my dad didn’t know what to do with themselves – they didn’t know who to visit,’ said Mrs Williams, from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

‘On the day of our operation, the consultant at the hospital couldn’t believe that we had been diagnosed on the same day and would be undergoing our operation on the same day.

‘She said that in 40 years in the NHS she had never seen anything like it before.’

Ms Leach, 65, who has retired from running a carpet fitting business, and who lives in Hoole, Chester, underwent a mastectomy.

Mrs Williams had a tumour removed from her right breast, tissue from her left, and had both breasts reduced.

The mother and daughter also underwent surgery on the same day, at the same hospital

The mother and daughter also underwent surgery on the same day, at the same hospital

The beauty consultant, said: ‘The thing about it is that breast cancer can happen to any woman, at any time. It is just a case of bad luck that we were both diagnosed at the same time.'

The married mother-of-four, added: ‘It was a really hard period to go through but we have a wonderful family who supported us all the way through it, and continue to be there for us.

‘The chemotherapy was really, really severe and there were some really dark days when I thought I just couldn’t carry on going.

‘Having a wonderful family and husband around me, as well as the support given by Macmillan, helped me keep going and now, thankfully, I am starting to get back to some sort of normality.

‘I have gone back to work recently, which I have loved and everyone has been great, but I think that I might like to try a different career path and work with those affected by cancer.

'It has really had a profound effect on both me and my mum.’

Mother and daughter were both treated at the Countess of Chester Hospital

Mother and daughter were both treated at the Countess of Chester Hospital

Now, having finished their course of chemotherapy, the pair are hosting a charity event to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Care.

About 48,000 women in Britain are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

Women in the UK have a one in eight chance of developing the cancer during their lifetime.

Eight out of ten women who are diagnosed with the cancer are over 50, but younger women, and men, can develop it as well.

Only five to ten per cent of breast cancers are thought to be linked to an inherited breast cancer gene.

The genes most commonly linked to an increased risk of the cancer in families are BRCA1 and BRCA2.

A woman who has a mother or sister with the disease has double the risk of developing it herself.

Women who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have a 45 to 65 per cent chance of developing the disease by the age of 70.