Sarah Penny was hailed as an “inspiration” by fans during her visit to the Cancer Research Institute

Her fans paid tribute to Sarah Penny when she visited the Cancer Research Institute to learn about genes amid her own battle with the disease.

The 50-year-old presenter took to Instagram on Monday night to share a photo of herself and Professor Claire Turnbull during her visit to Cancer Research.

Wearing a white ICR lab coat she stood next to an NHS consultant in clinical cancer genetics as she spent the morning at the institute.

'Inspirational': Sarah Penny was hailed by her fans as she visited Cancer Research Institute to learn about genes amid her own battle with the disease

‘Inspirational’: Sarah Penny was hailed by her fans as she visited Cancer Research Institute to learn about genes amid her own battle with the disease

Her 248,000 followers paid tribute to Sarah, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July, calling her “amazing” and an “inspiration” for raising awareness of cancer research.

Turning to the comments section, one person wrote: “I love the way you look at this insidious disease xx.”

While another added: “Sounds great Sarah and fun talking to breast cancer/genetics professor Claire Turnbull.”

A third said, “They are doing a great job!” To which Sarah replied: “So much fun!!! Genetic research is mind blowing!!

VISIT: The presenter (pictured), 50, spoke to Professor Claire Turnbull during her visit to Cancer Research

VISIT: The presenter (pictured), 50, spoke to Professor Claire Turnbull during her visit to Cancer Research

A fourth commented: “Sarah you are also a pioneer and an amazing lady,” and another added: “Hang on Sarah, she is a huge inspiration to so many. Keep going.”

The Institute of Cancer Research London is one of the world’s most influential cancer research organizations researching cancer genomics, cancer biology and personalized medicine.

Alongside her post, Sarah wrote of her visit: ‘Great talking about genetics with the amazing Professor Claire Turnbull this morning – thank you so much @icr_london who loved wearing a lab coat! Xx #cancerresearch #breastcancerawareness #breastcancer. ‘

Sarah, who is currently filming a cancer research documentary, previously spoke about finding a lump in her breast prior to her diagnosis in July.

‘You are a pioneer’: Her 248,000 followers paid tribute to Sarah, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July, calling her “awesome” and an “inspiration” for raising awareness for cancer research.

She recently admitted that she spent decades worrying about having breast cancer before she was diagnosed after her mother died of the disease.

Sarah Ann’s mother died tragically of cancer 40 years ago at the age of 39, when Sarah was only 10 years old.

Appearing on Loose Women to speak on television for the first time since her diagnosis, Sarah said she spent decades “waiting” to get breast cancer after her mother’s battle with the disease.

Explaining how she has spent decades worrying about cancer, Sarah said: “My mum died when I was 10 and I always assumed I would get breast cancer.

The diagnosis: Sarah, who is currently filming a cancer research documentary, previously spoke about having a lump in her breast prior to her diagnosis in July.

The diagnosis: Sarah, who is currently filming a cancer research documentary, previously spoke about having a lump in her breast prior to her diagnosis in July.

“Anyone else who’s lost a mom would feel this — she died at 39, so when I got to 39, I was like, ‘Here it is, this is it, this is the moment. ‘ And then I got to 40 and I said, ‘Oh no, it wasn’t So – that’s not all!

So forty was a little tricky moment, because I wasn’t sure what you do at forty when you’re not dead. Then life went on and then I turned 50 and then I got diagnosed, and I thought, “Oh there she is.” She was just waiting.

Reflecting on finding a lump on her breast, Sarah said it was initially dismissed as nothing to worry about, until she went back to the doctors for a check-up a few months later.

“My mission, which I would like everyone to know,” she said, “is that you should trust your own body.”

Family: Sarah Ann's mother died tragically of cancer 40 years ago at the age of 39, when Sarah was just 10 years old.

Family: Sarah Ann’s mother died tragically of cancer 40 years ago at the age of 39, when Sarah was just 10 years old.

Fear: Appearing on Loose Ladies to Speak on TV for the first time since her diagnosis Sarah said she's spent decades

Fear: Appearing on Loose Ladies to Speak on TV for the first time since her diagnosis, Sarah said she spent decades “waiting” to be diagnosed with breast cancer after her mother’s battle with the disease

“If you have a lump and they say it’s all clear, if it’s not okay, go back for another opinion.”

Sarah has also spoken out about how she copes with losing her hair from chemotherapy, saying she thinks it’s “wrong” to make people feel “shame” about it.

In September, Sarah started chemotherapy and lost her hair after her four sons — Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12 — had already chopped her shoulder-length hair into a shorter crop.

Sarah, who shares sons with Graham Swift, explained, “It’s weird because I’ve been trying to figure out why losing your hair is so painful, because it really shouldn’t be. It’s just poetry, isn’t it?

Difficulties: Sarah has also opened up about how she copes with her hair loss from chemotherapy, saying she believes it is

Difficulties: Sarah has also opened up about how she copes with her hair loss from chemotherapy, saying she thinks it’s a “mistake” to make people feel “shame” about it.

“I think it’s wrong to be shamed so much… I thought I had the tanner and the choice to talk about this, and I thought if it would help one person.

“Maybe just because I feel like it gives me a little bit of a power to me and maybe it’s somewhat empowering for someone else to look at it and go, ‘Well, you know what, I can just come out with a bald head too.'”

Sarah is currently filming a documentary about cancer and specifically her mother’s diagnosis 40 years ago, looking at how much treatment has improved since then.

Macmillan Support Line provides free, confidential support to people with cancer and their loved ones. Call 0808 808 00 00 for support.

Hair loss: In September, Sarah started chemotherapy and lost her hair after her sons — Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12 — chopped her shoulder-length hair into a shorter crop.

Hair loss: In September, Sarah started chemotherapy and lost her hair after her sons — Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12 — chopped her shoulder-length hair into a shorter crop.

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world, affecting more than two million women annually

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world. There are more than 55,000 new cases in the UK each year, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the United States, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what are its causes and how can it be treated?

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer develops from a cancer cell that develops in the lining of the duct, or lobula, of one breast.

When breast cancer spreads into the surrounding breast tissue, it is called “invasive” breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with “carcinoma in situ,” in which no cancer cells grow outside the duct or lobule.

Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but sometimes younger women are affected. Male breast cancer can develop although this is rare.

Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the first stage and stage 4 means that the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

Cancer cells are graded from Low, which means slow growing, to High, which means fast growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they are first treated.

What causes breast cancer?

A cancerous tumor starts from an abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell turns cancerous is not clear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in a cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply “out of control”.

Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid-filled sacs, which are benign.

The first place breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this happens you will develop a lump or lump in your armpit.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  • Initial assessment: The doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may perform tests such as mammograms, which are special x-rays of breast tissue that can indicate possible tumors.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.

If it is confirmed that you have breast cancer, more tests may be needed to assess whether it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound of the liver or a chest X-ray.

How is breast cancer treated?

Treatment options that may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments is used.

  • Surgery: breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy, depending on the size of the tumor.
  • Radiotherapy: A treatment that uses high-energy beams of radiation that focus on the cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or prevents cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: A treatment for cancer using anti-cancer drugs that kill cancer cells or stop them from multiplying
  • Hormonal therapies: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the “female” hormone estrogen, which can stimulate cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments that reduce the level of these hormones or stop them from working are commonly used in people with breast cancer.

How successful is the treatment?

The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small and has not spread. Surgical removal of the tumor at an early stage may give a good chance of cure.

Routine mammography offered to women ages 50 to 70 means more breast cancers are diagnosed and treated at an earlier stage.

For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call the toll-free helpline on 0808 800 6000

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