A Gentoo worker who survived cancer is calling upon people in Sunderland to show their support.
Andrea Loraine-Maughan, 44, from Roker, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2014, has teamed up with her employers for World Cancer Day tomorrow.
The awareness day has seen leading charities Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation, join forces to launch Unity Bands, which are raising money and awareness for the millions affected by the disease.
Andrea, art of living advisor at Gentoo, knows only too well the importance of cancer research.
The mum of two said: “I found a lump in my right breast when I was in the shower and went straight to my GP for an emergency appointment.
“I was referred for a mammogram and also had biopsies. My mum and dad came with me.
“When I got the results three days later, the consultant came in the room and said there was no easy way to say it, and the results showed it was cancer.
“We couldn’t believe it. My mum was sure they’d given us someone else’s results.”
Andrea has been treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and will take the hormone therapy drug Tamoxifen, which was developed by Cancer Research UK, for the next five years to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
She said: “The last three rounds of chemotherapy were horrendous, but I knew I had to keep going, as I wanted rid of the cancer.
“Having been through cancer, I now share my story at Gentoo and with customers, to help encourage people to be cancer-aware.
“The earlier someone can be diagnosed the better.”
Sharing the importance of cancer awareness is something her colleagues at Gentoo also take seriously, and through its support for charity partner Cancer Research UK it has provided awareness roadshows and talks to staff showing them how to spot the signs and symptoms, and how to prevent the disease.
The Cancer Research UK unity bands are available at all Gentoo offices.