Staying positive through breast cancer: Georgie's story
Being diagnosed with cancer is never easy to hear, and it can be even more difficult if you are diagnosed with breast cancer in your 20s
In March 2021, upon finding a lump in her breast, Georgie, who was in her 20s, was referred to a consultant through Vitality (her health insurance provider) who broke the news that he was 99.9% sure it was breast cancer, and that they should move quickly to treat it.
A biopsy, mammogram, PET scan and CT scan followed in the next 10 days, which confirmed that Georgie had breast cancer.
Within two weeks of her initial diagnosis, Georgie had started treatment, with an operation to remove the cancer from her breast and a first round of chemotherapy.
Positivity through every circumstance
For many people, being diagnosed with cancer and undertaking treatment impacts their ability to partake in the things they enjoy doing.
While Georgie’s cancer and treatment has affected her significantly, she’s focused on maintaining a positive mindset throughout her treatment through continuing to do the things she loves where possible.
One such love is show jumping and horse riding and being able to continue riding was a priority for Georgie.
Together with support from her consultant, who arranged extra blood tests to ensure it was safe for her to continue riding, and support to organise appointments and surgeries around it, Georgie has been able to continue following her passion.
“For me, I've been able to do the things I love which has really helped me feel more positive throughout my experience,” Georgie tellsVitality Magazine.
“Thanks to the flexibility afforded by my health insurance, I have been able to continue show jumping and compete professionally throughout my treatment.”
Georgie even finished first place in the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour earlier this year. She has also turned to social media to connect with people experiencing a similar situation.
“There is so much negativity online, so rather than sharing the scary parts of cancer I’ve been using social media to connect with other young women with breast cancer in a positive way.
“It's so surprising how many others are affected by it and I've even seen an online community start to form.”
Health insurance making a difference
Georgie has also often spoken out about her experience of having health insurance to turn to to quickly access diagnostics, such as scans, and treatment quickly.
Through Vitality Georgie, was also able to access remote chemotherapy treatment at home, homeopathy, massages, physio and a chauffeur service for clinic visits.
“I’ve got cancer and it’s rubbish. But having health insurance has made it as easy as it could have been, both physically and emotionally,” she says.
"The only thing I’ve had to worry about are the things that are really worth worrying about. Rather than having to chase appointments or waiting for answers and the results of scans - all that kind of thing.”
Being able to minimise the chances of cancer coming back through preventative measures is important for any cancer patient.
Georgie used her health insurance for access gene testing to see if there were any preventative measures she could take to reduce her risk.
The results revealed the existence of the CHEK2 gene which shows she has a 40% risk of her cancer returning.
Georgie has subsequently made the decision to have a mastectomy in the future to help minimise the risk of the cancer returning.
For now, Georgie is continuing to undertake radiotherapy treatment, after which she will require regular check-ups every 6 to 12months, alongside medication.
If you’d like to hear more of Georgie’s inspiring story, see her show jumping and pictures of her very own Stanley, follow her on Instagram or take a look at Georgie’s website. If you’re unsure about how to go about checking your breasts or need a reminder, here’s our guide to how to check for breast cancer.
We know that everyone worries about cancer, which is why we partner with Check4Cancer to ensure members have access to early cancer detection checks and genetic services testing.
These services have continued to stay open during the pandemic and VitalityHealth* members who think they may have a symptom of cancer are urged to refer themselves, speak to a Vitality GP or their NHS GP now.
*Qualifying members can access discounted checks and risk assessments for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. Check4Cancer’s team of specialists have extensive clinical expertise and evidence-based services that are supported by audit data.
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