Yorkshire police officer diagnosed with cancer after "slight ache" wearing body armour is now clear of disease

PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.
PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.
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A Yorkshire Police officer who was diagnosed with breast cancer after getting a "slight ache" when putting on her body armour has spoken for the first time since being told she is now free of the disease.

PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.

PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.

PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.

The 33-year-old said: "All this has made me realise that you only get one life and you have to make the most of it and say yes to all the opportunities you get.

"I will be the first to admit I never checked my breasts before this, but if my story will make just one person check then it will be worth it.

"You don't realise how common this can be in young people and you never think it will happen to you, but it can."

PC Woods, who joined the West Yorkshire force 18 months ago, first started feeling a slight ache in her left breast when she put on her body armour in February of this year.

PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.

PC Samantha Woods, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, had her final round of radiotherapy on Monday and has been told she is officially cancer free after being diagnosed with the disease back in June this year.

"I thought I had just put a bit of weight on and my armour was a bit tight which is why it hurt a little," the police officer said.

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"Then in May I went on holiday to Krakow with my friends and we got talking about women's problems and I mentioned the pain to them.

"A couple of my friends had found lumps in their breasts a few years ago and they urged me to go see a doctor when we got back home just to be on the safe side so I arranged an appointment."

A doctor carried out an examination on PC Woods, but despite not finding anything unusual still sent her for a scan at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield just as a precautionary measure.

There she had an ultrasound, which also came back clear. It wasn't until another doctor examined her left breast and noticed a a slight indentation when she put her arm above her head that PC Woods was sent for an MRI scan.

"The doctor told me the MRI had flagged something up and that they wanted to do a biopsy the next day," PC Woods said.

"They told me then that it was cancer and I was just shocked. My mum was with me and it was a really big shock to her as well.

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"The first thing that went through my mind was what was going to happen to me? Would I need chemotherapy, could they do anything to treat it? "

PC Woods underwent an operation to remove the tumour and the lymph nodes around it on July 10.

On August 2, she received the results that the operation had been a success and that the cancer had not spread to any of her lymph nodes.

She was told she would need radiotherapy instead of chemotherapy.

"This was just such a huge relief," PC Woods said.

"They told me I was really lucky to have caught it when I did and I just feel so relieved.

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"My body armour saved my life at the end of the day. If it wasn't for that goodness knows how ling it would have been until I felt a lump."

PC Woods has undergone a total of 20 radiotherapy sessions, the last of which took place on Monday, at St James's Hospital in Leeds.

"The sessions made me a little tired and a little bit sore, in fact it felt a little bit like sunburn," the police officer said.

PC Woods will be on medication for the next 10 years and will have yearly mammograms.

She is now enjoying a well deserved holiday before returning to her job next week, having previously been on restricted duties during her treatment.

PC Woods said: "I am really looking forward to getting back to work.

"The force has been absolutely fantastic - I couldn't ask for a better employer.

"I just want to urge everyone to check their breasts regularly. Breast Cancer Now or Coppafeel have great diagrams if you are not sure how to and if you suspect something isn't right go see a doctor straight away."