‘We shouldn’t focus on our size or shape, feeling good about yourself is all that matters’
Helen Smith, 53, lives with her husband Martin, 58, and they have four children.
I can remember how I felt sitting in that doctor’s office in November 2007. Finding out that I had the faulty BRCA1 gene was one of the worst days of my life. I was 85% more likely to get breast cancer than the average woman.
I would need a preventative double mastectomy, and I was devastated. An A-B cup, I’d always been self- conscious about the way my boobs looked. So in 2003, I’d had surgery to take me to an E cup. It had
given me so much more confidence, but now I was being told that I had to have my breasts removed. I did my research, found a surgeon, and in November 2009 I had the surgery, followed by reconstruction, which took me to an F cup.
When I woke up, relief washed over me – this op was a lifeline. The gene mutation meant I was also at risk of developing ovarian cancer, so in November 2015, I had a hysterectomy and my ovaries removed.
Going through all of this has made me realise how important life is. We only have one body so it’s important to look after it
– I work out three to five times a week and stick to a good diet. As long as you feel good about yourself, that’s all that matters.