Inspirational Croydon mother urges women to check themselves this Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Inspirational Croydon mother urges women to check themselves this Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Melissa, a local mother of two and Breast Cancer patient at Croydon University Hospital is urging women to get intimate and check their breasts regularly this Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond.

Before the UK went into its first lockdown, Melissa was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She found a small lump in her breast by chance, and after an initial internet search she put it down to the lump being caused by hormones. After it played on her mind for some time, Melissa decided to seek medical advice, and quickly was scheduled in for a mammogram.

Melissa explains:

“I remembered a nurse at the local surgery showing me with a prosthetic boob how to self-examine. I recalled her telling me it can feel like a small hard lump like a lemon pip. Mine felt like a lemon pip."

Since then, Melissa has undergone chemotherapy and surgery to remove a lumpectomy and 19 lymph nodes. She has also recently helped Macmillan staff at Team Croydon this Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise a fantastic £565 on their tombola stall, raising funds for Macmillan’s Breast Cancer Support services.

Melissa’s now using her platform and urging everyone to check their breasts regularly to catch any possible signs of cancer as soon as possible. The symptoms can include:

  • a lump in the breast
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast, such as swelling in all or part of the breast.
  • dimpling of the skin or thickening in the breast tissue
  • a nipple that’s turned in (inverted)
  • a rash (like eczema) on the nipple
  • discharge or bleeding from the nipple
  • swelling or a lump in the armpit.
  • pain or discomfort in the breast that does not go away

Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services Manager at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Sarah Pritchard said:

"Knowing what changes to look for and when to see your doctor could make a real difference. Don’t be scared if you have symptoms. Get them checked."

Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women in the UK, with their being more than 54,500 cases diagnosed every year. Men can get breast cancer too, but the it is most common in women over the age of 50.



1. For more details on our Cancer Information and Support Services, visit our Macmillan page. 

Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service

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Whether you have cancer yourself, care for a friend or relative, work as a health professional or simply want to know more about cancer, our professional team are here to help you.

The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service has been developed as a joint venture between Macmillan Cancer, Croydon Health Services, Citizens Advice Centre, South East Cancer Help Centre and people with cancer.

The information centre is designed to help make sure that anyone affected by cancer has free access to good quality information and emotional and practical support.

Opening hours

The centre is open Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday. 

Excluding Bank Holidays


The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services Manager is:

Sarah Pritchard - You can contact her on: 020 8401 3000 ext. 4776 or 5744

Or call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

Opening hours 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm.


The Centre is situated in Nightingale House. You can find it by walking from the main entrance to the public car park, under the archway, on the left hand side. 


HOPE Macmillan course - leaflet for patients May 2018

Important: Current changes to attendence due to the COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have changed the way we run our service. We are still here to support and listen to you.  We have temporarily suspended the walk in service but you can still contact us by phone. If you require a face-to-face meeting, you can book an appointment by calling us on 020 8401 3000 ext. 4776 or 5744. We can see you with social distancing measures in place. Only one person may visit at a time—this is for your protection and ours, and you must wear a face covering.

We usually offer complementary therapies, reflexology and massage, but our complementary therapy services have temporarily been put on hold until it is safe for us to resume.

Our Macmillan Cancer Psychological Support team (CaPS) are available and are offering face-to-face and telephone appointments. For telephone referrals, advice or to speak to a member of the team call: 0208 401 3345

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Benefits and debt advice

Macmillan benefit advice Macmillan Cancer Support and the Macmillan Benefits Advice Service (part of Citizens Advice Wandsworth) work in partnership to provide a free and confidential welfare, benefits and money advice service for people living with cancer, their families and carers in South West London.

Specialist advisers can help you identify the benefits you may be entitled to, as well as provide assistance with completing forms if required. Other help offered includes accessing debt management support and making you aware of additional assistance that may be available to you.

You can access the service by telephoning 020 7042 0332 from Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5pm (excluding bank holidays). Or you can complete an online form  here. Your enquiry will be responded to within 3 working days.

For further information about financial advice, click  here.