Helen Coulthard

I am a Reader in Psychology who specialises in eating behaviour at De Montfort University in Leicester. I live In Birmingham with my family, but originate from North Cumbria. I have a black belt in Karate, am a keen exerciser and dedicated vegan, a lover of books, dogs and dancing (not all at once!). I was the Chair of a successful 10-year Campaign to reopen Sparkhill Swimming Baths (2008-2018), which has given me understanding that perseverance is crucial if you want to achieve your goals!

I was diagnosed with lobular carcinoma, grade 3, 6.6cm in size in July 2019. I have had a single mastectomy with reconstruction, then chemotherapy (FEC-T), radiotherapy (during the Covid 19 pandemic) and am now on hormone therapy (Tamoxifen). I was struck by the fact that lobular was the first word the breast surgeon said to me when I was diagnosed, and then it was subsequently viewed as unimportant for the rest of my treatment. As a researcher, I turned to research and was stuck by the fact that lobular has different biological features and grows differently to standard (ductal) cancers, yet the scanning and treatment protocols in the UK are identical. This disparity between knowledge and practice led me to seek out other lobular patients to see if we could make a difference for future generations.

I have met many incredible women in this journey who advocate for themselves and actively seek knowledge about lobular, and I am hoping that together we can make a difference.

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