Emily King was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in June 2019 after noticing lumps in her right breast.
Prior to her diagnosis, Emily had joined her local Slimming World group in Nuthall, where she lost more than three stones in just over two years.
Emily said this weight loss helped her to identify the cancer early on and ultimately may have saved her life.
“I was told by my doctor that if I hadn’t lost the weight then I would not have noticed the lumps when I did,” Emily said.
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“If I hadn’t lost the weight then the stages of cancer could have progressed without me realising – putting my life at risk.”
In January 2020, Emily’s treatment began with a lumpectomy in both breasts and having both nipples removed.
By March, she was told that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and the treatment consisted of a further operation to remove all of her lymph nodes in both armpits, along with six rounds of chemotherapy and 20 rounds of radiotherapy.
Now, after being given the all clear, Emily wants to stress the importance of losing weight for health reasons.
“Losing weight isn’t all about getting into a size 10,” she said.
“It’s really about looking after your own health, and even just losing a stone or two could help to save your life like it did for me.”
The 49-year-old sales representative is also urging women to regularly check their breasts and look out for signs that something is wrong.
She added: “It’s not always about finding a lump. In my left breast there was no lump, but it turned out there was cancer in both.
“It could be a change in the shape of your boobs, or an ‘orange peel’ like patch, or a dint. Anything that looks or feels wrong is 100% worth getting checked.
“Don’t be afraid to go to the doctors and don’t put it off because it could only get worse.”
Throughout her cancer treatment, Emily said she found a “safe haven” at her Slimming World group and praised the organisation for all of its support.
She said: “It mentally helped me being in a supportive group, who embraced me and didn’t judge when I was sitting there with no hair.
“There were obviously tough times, but the group got me through it.”
This year, Emily won the chance to have 3D nipple tattoos at the Slimming World Salon in Somercotes, something which the NHS had told her she would have had to wait another three years for.
“Dawn Barlow, who works at the salon, had cancer herself and had the 3D tattoos,” she said.
“Then she went on to learn how to give them to others.
“Once a month they were drawing someone’s name out of a hat to receive them and mine was the first one.”
The 3D nipple tattoos are real tattoos, applied with needles that insert pigment into the skin.
Emily added: “After I had the tattoos I felt complete as a woman again.”
To find out more information about Hair and Beauty at Slimming World in Clover Nook Road, Somercotes, or to be considered for a free appointment call 01773 546382 or email [email protected]
To find your local Slimming World group and sign up, visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk