Cancer changed my whole outlook on life

A mum-of-three diagnosed with cancer in 2012 said hearing her children’s laughter made her realise what was important in life.

Andrea Partridge, nee Cowherd, from Keswick Road, Lancaster, has battled through the disease and now works full time for Cancercare – the charity who she cannot thank enough for helping her recovery.

The 46-year-old was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2012, and underwent chemotherapy in October the same year. She also had a mascectomy on her left side, and a full lymph node clearance.

Shaving her head and raising £1,500 for Cancercare, she was determined to do all she could for the Lancaster based charity, which supports patients, carers and relatives affected by cancer.

The former manager of the Viva Dental Practice in Carnforth said: “We didn’t know how aggressive it was at that stage.

“I had radiotherapy treatment as well, and that was it, the doctors treated me to cure me. They’ve done everything they can now and my prognosis is 50/50. I’ve got to see the specialist every three months but effectively I was given the all clear in May last year.”

Andrea said that one of her main aims following treatment was to go and visit her brother and his family in Australia to recharge her batteries, a trip she made in September.

A month prior to that, on August 25, she married her partner Mark.

“I just try to stay positive,” she said.

“But of course I’ve got to stay realistic too.

“I grab every opportunity that comes my way, and make the most of life, because I’ve no idea whether it’s going to come back, which is why I decided to change my job and my whole outlook on life.

“Hearing the kids laughing made me realise what I wanted out of life really.

“I’ve received so much help from Cancercare. Afterwards I would pop in and see everybody, and they asked me to do a talk at the Star Walk event about everything I had gone through. It just felt like I had a purpose and it was about supporting other people.

“Without Cancercare I don’t think I would have got through it.”

Andrea now works full time as volunteer co-ordinator for the charity. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact 01524 381 820 or email