A grandmother’s fight against ovarian cancer has inspired pub bosses to raise money for the charity, Ovacome.
Lesley Sage (70), from Moulton, was diagnosed with the illness a month after her 65th birthday, although she had none of the normal symptoms of the cancer known by medics as “the silent killer”.
Lesley has become a volunteer trustee of Ovacome, which gives free specialist advice to women and families touched by ovarian cancer, and one of her roles involves talking to medical students about spotting signs of the disease – signs that don’t always follow the text book.
Her husband, Pat, is the brewer for the Bluebell pub and brewery in Cranesgate, Whaplode St Catherine.
Pub bosses John and Jen Lusher will donate £1 to Ovacome for every carvery meal sold at weekends through March, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and will double the sum on Mother’s Day, March 26.
It is hoped customers will match-fund the donation.
More than 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.
Lesley says women need to remember “BEAT” –
B for bloating: increased abdominal size or persistent bloating that doesn’t go away
E for eating difficulties: feeling full too quickly or having heartburn, nausea, loss of appetite
A for abdominal or pelvic pain
T for tell your GP
Other symptoms may include urinary problems, changes in bowel habit, extreme tiredness and back pain.
Lesley says she probably checked her own soft tissue three times a year and felt a lump above her pubic bone.
She didn’t feel at all ill but went to her GP surgery, where she was examined by a doctor.
Lesley recalled: “He said ‘I am awfully sorry but I think you have got cancer and we have to act fast. It’s that feeling you have been hit by a high speed train.”
Since her diagnosis, Lesley has undergone two major operations, as well as chemotherapy, and must have quarterly blood tests to check that she remains in remission.
Lesley’s work in training and development has helped her to stay positive and the support of family and friends has been invaluable, as has the advice offered by Ovacome.
For more information on Ovacome visit www.ovacome.org.uk
The charity also runs a Freephone helpline 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, on 0800 008 7054.