Caythorpe gran’s cancer was detected thanks to roll-on deodorant

Carol Atkinson with her daughter Hannah Chapman and grandson Jack EMN-150528-091554001
Carol Atkinson with her daughter Hannah Chapman and grandson Jack EMN-150528-091554001

A grandmother whose cancer was detected thanks to a roll-on deodorant is calling on local women to sign up for this year’s Race for Life to help beat cancer sooner.

Carol Atkinson, 61, from Caythorpe, near Grantham, found a lump in her arm-pit when she was putting on her roll-on deodorant in December 2013. She was then referred to the breast clinic and diagnosed with cancer.

The former head teacher is taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life this year, to celebrate ending treatment and is urging grans, mums, daughters, sisters and friends to join her in the fight against the disease by entering a local Race for Life 5k, 10k or Pretty Muddy event.

Carol said: “Roll-on deodorant saved my life. I had noticed my left breast was swollen but I thought nothing of it. A few days later I came out of the shower, put on my roll-on and it pressed against a lump in my armpit, it literally bumped over it.

“I had a mammogram and a biopsy. Afterwards they were waiting for me with a big box of tissues. I used up all of the tissues when I found out it was cancer.

“I was a complete and utter wreck but most people wouldn’t have seen that. People thought I was being very calm and brave but Steve, my husband, and daughter Hannah saw the worst of it, they were both incredible.”

Carol had to have chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy. It was gruelling both emotionally and physically but a few weeks after her operation she was given an extra reason to keep fighting.

Carol says: “My daughter Hannah told me she was pregnant. I don’t think I breathed for five minutes, I was so excited. I have four step grandchildren and they are wonderful but it was an incredible moment to hear Hannah was having a baby.

“Jack was born just after I finished my treatment, it was such a precious moment to hold him and think, we have both made it.”

Race for Life events: Stamford 5k on Sunday 31st May at 11.00am at Burghley House; Lincoln 5k on 19th July at 11am at Lincolnshire Showground; Peterborough 5k on Tuesday 7th July at 7.30pm at Ferry Meadows; Stamford 10k on Sunday 31st May at 11.00am at Burghley House; Lincoln: 5k on 19th July at 11am at Lincolnshire Showground; Cambridgeshire Pretty Muddy: Sunday 21st June at 10.00am at Peterborough Arena.