24 June 2015
Photo of Bronagh Corry
New data reveals that there are more than 2,000 people in Northern Ireland living with breast, prostate, colorectal or lung cancer who were diagnosed under the age of 45.
According to research carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support, the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), the number of people diagnosed under 45 and still living with cancer across the UK has reached almost 80,000.
Bronagh Corry was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. She was 39. The Strabane mother of three has undergone surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy and is finding fatigue – one of the side effects of treatment – difficult to cope with.
'When you’re young, you have your whole working life ahead of you. I’ve got a young family and need – and want – to get back to work. I’m a teacher and I’ve tried to start back twice, but found the long school days so tiring. Luckily, my school is very understanding and supportive. I’ll be going back in the autumn, working two days a week.'
Heather Monteverde, the General Manager of Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Ireland says: 'Cancer is not just a disease of old age. The reality is that hundreds of people in Northern Ireland - and thousands across the UK - are being diagnosed at a young age.
'Employers need to understand how hard it can be for someone recovering from cancer and its treatment. They also need to understand that people want to get back to work. They just need the right support.'