Cancer survivor praises NHS for saving her life once again

Lesley Osborne hopes that her story will inspire others to attend routine cancer screenings despite Covid concerns.

Cancer survivor praises NHS for saving her life once again STV News
Lesley Osborne attending her cancer screening.

As clapping for heroes makes a comeback during a new phase of the pandemic, a woman who recovered from breast cancer twice in her life has given a special thank you to the NHS for saving her once again.

Lesley Osborne, from Biggar, wanted to show her appreciation after doctors managed to detect an early grade one tumour during her latest screening.

She aims to help the NHS raise awareness on the importance of attending routine appointments and screenings to allow doctors to detect cancer early.

Lesley told STV News that despite her efforts to avoid the screening appointment due to coronavirus fears, she was strongly advised to attend by hospital staff.

She said: “The tumour was picked up in the unit in Lanark and after a recall and biopsy only five weeks ago.

“I had surgery last week at Wishaw General to remove the tumour and the sentinel lymph node to make sure it hadn’t spread.

‘The painful, very worrying times of the past often make people turn away from re-visiting the hospital for their very important regular checks.’

Lesley Osborne

“So far, my prognosis is a positive one thanks to very early detection.

“I realise just how incredibly lucky I am as this is the second time round for me.”

After being diagnosed with cancer for the first time in 2013, Lesley volunteered to be part of the radiotherapy trial run by the Marsden Royal Hospital in London to test higher doses of radiotherapy in much shorter time.

The huge success of the trial means now, unless further treatment is required, Lesley will only receive five days of radiotherapy instead of the normal six weeks.

Lesley said this has had a massive beneficial impact on her mental health, energy levels and her daily life.

Lesley Osborne after undergoing radiotherapy in 2013.
Lesley Osborne after undergoing radiotherapy in 2013.

She said: “They are now trialling giving radiotherapy during surgery which is just amazing.”

After surviving cancer the first time, Lesley decided to donate quality soft furnishings to the Wishaw General’s Quiet Room – which the hospital then went on to name after her.

Following her thank-you donation, the Osborne Room allowed worrying news to be delivered to relatives in a comfortable and relaxing space.

Lesley Osborne in 2013.
Lesley Osborne in 2013.

She now aims to inspire cancer survivors to return for their regular screenings.

Lesley said: “The painful, very worrying times of the past often make people turn away from re-visiting the hospital for their very important regular checks.

“Attending the appointment may save your life and I promise you, you will be amongst professionals who truly care about you.

‘Attending the appointment may save your life and I promise you, you will be amongst professionals who truly care about you.’

Lesley Osborne

“It takes a huge amount of people to pass the baton for you between hospitals and departments and they do it with true dedication and – honestly – love.

“My recent visit to Wishaw General was daunting at the height of this pandemic, but for anyone facing any type of surgery, as reassurance, the wards are being run with the iron fist of old-school matron-like procedures.

“They don’t just double check, they check over and over and over.

“Whilst I recover at home now, if anyone feels they would like a hand held from afar, I am here and I for one will be outside clapping from Quothquan as loudly as I can for our NHS.”