Losing 19 stone saved my life – I would have missed cancer if I was still big

Losing 19 stone saved my life – I would have missed cancer if I was still big

A woman who dropped 19 stone says losing weight saved her life after finding a lump that turned out to be an aggressive cancer.

Bethany Woodward, 27, was only able to feel the hard ‘’grape sized’’ lump in her right breast after losing over half her body weight.

She was slimmed down to 11st and a dress size 12 after a gastric bypass in July 2019. In December 2021 she found the lump on her boob while lying down.

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Six months later she was officially diagnosed with stage three triple-negative breast cancer at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. The care manager is still undergoing chemotherapy treatment until February 2024 but is speaking out to ‘’urge others to get checked out’’.

Bethany from Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, said: “This experience has changed my mindset completely and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.

“Losing a load of weight is a life-change in itself but to be diagnosed with breast cancer is another thing entirely. Doctors said if I was bigger, I wouldn’t have noticed the lump on my chest.

“I was terrified going into it all. I feel so thankful to the NHS for the incredible treatment I’ve received over the last four years not just with the chemo.

“I urge young women to get their breasts checked because it’s a race against time. I’m not in the all-clear but nothing is going to stop me from fighting.

“I own cancer, cancer doesn’t own me.”

At her heaviest, Bethany was tipping the scales at 29st 7lbs and a UK size 32. After being “fed up of being the bigger girl” she decided to go under the knife to get her weight under control ‘’once and for all’’.

She registered for a £12,500 gastric bypass at the private hospital, Dolan Park, Birmingham. After a successful surgery, by December 2021, Bethany weighed 11st and was a svelte size 10.

But just before Christmas, the care manager found a grape-sized lump inside her breast.

She adds: “I’m on my second cycle of chemotherapy treatment with 10 more to go but if all goes well, in April I’ll get the all-clear. Whilst I can’t eat my sweet treats like I used to, losing weight saved my life.

“Little did I know that losing weight was just the start of it all.”

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