with Tasha Gandamihardja

Helen Deverell

Helen Deverell

My Breast My Health

S1 Ep10: Breast cancer at 29 years old, fertility and mental health – Helen Deverell

Breast cancer is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Many people think that it only affects women, but that is not true, it affects men too. That it only presents as lumps, when we find breast cancers that are only seen on mammograms or ultrasound scans. That breast cancer only affects older people, when it can affect younger people as well and this can have an effect on the area of fertility. This is illustrated by today’s guest, Helen Deverell.

Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 years old. She had just got married, was enjoying a successful career and was planning to start her family. Suddenly, all of her plans ground to a halt. Her life changed after she was told that she had breast cancer. But how is that possible? She is in her 20s? This can’t happen to people in their 20s? Or can it?

In this episode, Helen openly talks about her diagnosis, treatment and all the challenges she faced. Because of chemotherapy, she was told that she would need to wait 5 years before knowing if she could have any children. Helen discovered that this uncertainty of not being able to have children was more difficult to cope with than the breast cancer diagnosis itself.

Helen also talks about the struggles she faced and still does, in trying to live with a breast cancer diagnosis. She shares the various strategies that she has used in daily life, that has helped her move on with her life.

Resources mentioned:

Breast cancer and fertility resources:

There are some useful websites where you can find information about fertility issues including here at breastcancer.org, cancer research uk and breast cancer now.

Take-home messages:

  • Breast cancer can affect younger people
  • It is important to make sure you have time to think about your treatment options
  • Breast cancer and fertility is an area that needs to be discussed more openly
  • Write down all the questions you may have, and bring it to your clinic appointment
  • If you don’t understand something that is being explained to you by your doctors, then don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask
  • acknowledge that the feeling of anxiety and fear will pass
  • If you are able, try to talk about your diagnosis with other people, it does help
  • It is important to do a self-breast examination

Connect with Helen @helendeverell.

Do you want to learn how to do a BREAST EXAMINATION? Listen to this episode where I guide you step by step on how to examine your breasts the correct way.

Subscribe and review

If you don’t want to miss out on future episodes then please make sure you subscribe to the podcast. You can do it at Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts and other podcast apps that take your fancy.

Also, if you are feeling super generous, I’d be grateful if you could help out by leaving a review on Apple Podcast. This will help spread the word, making the My Breast My Health podcast more discoverable to people who may not know it exists! Hopefully, by doing this, more people can benefit from it too.


DISCLAIMER: The content of this podcast and website is not a substitute for seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional. Please do not delay in seeing a doctor for a breast problem, because of what you have read on this website or heard on this podcast.

Could you help us out?

If you are enjoying the My Breast My Health podcast and find it useful, I would be really grateful if you could leave a rating and review. This will help me produce more content and bring value to more people.

You can do this by clicking on Apple Podcast, scroll down to the bottom, rate with the stars and then select ‘Write a Review’. Do let me know which episodes you found useful and what you loved about them.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on future episodes, then do subscribe to the podcast. You can do it at Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts and other podcast apps that take your fancy.