After being diagnosed with breast cancer at only 31, Becky Haigh is no stranger to adversity.

As a mum of two young girls, she decided that her breast cancer diagnosis wasn’t going to destroy her life and she’d tackle it head on, with absolute determination.

So much so, she decided to run this year’s Great Manchester Run 10k in aid of Prevent Breast Cancer only four weeks after surgery!

We caught up with Becky, to find out about her diagnosis and how she found the strength to take on such a huge challenge mid-treatment.

Hi Becky, can you please first tell us about your breast cancer diagnosis?

In October 2022, I went to the doctors with a lump in my left breast. Within a week I got an appointment at The Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, and I had an ultrasound followed by a biopsy and a mammogram. They told me they would be in touch with the results. That wait was the longest wait of my life and I just knew it wasn’t good news. On November 1st, 2022, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and the only words that stuck in my head were that it’s ‘super treatable’. I was sent for an MR scan for accurate measurements and referred to The Christie Hospital to see the oncologist and discuss my treatment plan. I was told chemotherapy was normally given first followed by surgery and I went with this. Being 31 and a single mum of 2 girls (age 3 and 7) I just knew I had to fight. There was no other option. My girls needed me.

What happened next?

Within four weeks and three days from first attending my GP appointment, I had my first appointment with my oncologist and my treatment plan was discussed. Six rounds of chemotherapy, followed by surgery, and possibly radiotherapy. As my cancer was hormone driven I would also be on hormone therapy for a long while, too. Although I already had two children, because chemotherapy can affect your fertility, I began on treatment similar to those starting IVF and had a procedure to remove my eggs and freeze them.

You said you chose chemotherapy first?

Yes, I started my first round of chemotherapy on 1st December 2022, exactly a month after diagnosis. How amazing is our NHS! My treatment was three times a week, and I met so many people along the way and learnt so much. Halfway through I had a scan to see how my treatment was working and my consultant called me to say my tumour had gone from 32mm to 20mm, but unfortunately something had flagged up on my liver.

For the first time since my diagnosis, I broke down, I immediately thought I was dying. I thought I was riddled! What was I going to do?! What about my girls? Scans were requested immediately and within three days I underwent a full body scan ultrasound of the liver and MR of the liver. The consultant told me as I stepped off the MR scanner to enjoy my weekend as what had flagged up was a hemangioma (benign tumour of blood vessels) and nothing to worry about!! What a relief!!!

The rest of my treatment continued, and I rang the bell on the 16th of March 2023. I had a follow up with my consultant on the 28th of March 2023 and my tumour had now reduced to 15mm. We went through surgery options, and I opted for a lumpectomy with sentinel lymph node removal, followed by radiotherapy. Again, I was told the wait for surgery was currently 6-8 weeks, but within a week I had my appointment and I had surgery on the 14th of April 2023.

I am forever grateful for the NHS – the surgeons, nurses, consultants and health care workers.

What made you want to take part in The Great Manchester Run, only four weeks after surgery?

Before my breast cancer diagnosis, I’d always been a keen runner, and I decided I’d try and run, together with my sister, to help raise funds for Prevent Breast Cancer research. My amazing sister supported me throughout my cancer journey, including holding my hand at appointments, and I was so grateful that she was by my side for the run.

The run was tough being only four weeks from surgery and only having one week to train. However, ironically, as I got to the 8km mark my phone started ringing – the hospital telling me my results from surgery were in bringing my appointment forward…and it was good news! We headed straight to the nearest bar afterwards to celebrate!

I can not even put into words how emotional we were when we crossed the finishing line.

Are you still having treatment now?

My treatment is still on going.

The results from my surgery were amazing. My tumour to begin with was 32mm but when they went to remove the remainder there was under 1mm left, which was almost a full clearance with chemotherapy.

I’ve completed nineteen rounds of radiotherapy, and I was also recommended to complete fourteen rounds of TDM1 therapy. I have just had number eight one week ago, so six more to go which takes me to around March next year. TDM1 therapy is a preventative treatment which I am all here for. I also recently had my yearly mammogram from diagnosis and got the all clear! I could not fault any part of my treatment.

Have you kept up with the running?

I haven’t continued running to be honest, although I would love to get back into it. I’ve concentrated on getting my life back to normal and spending time with my two girls. Who knows, maybe I’ll sign up to next year’s 10k! I’m pleased to say that we actually raised over £3000 in total for this year’s run! Which is obviously amazing.

Have you got any advice for someone who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?

I have had lots of women recently diagnosed come to me asking for any advice and support. It’s absolutely overwhelming that I’m able to help somebody else in a similar situation and that is exactly the reason I chose to share my story. My advice to anybody newly diagnosed is – fight it head on with all you have, try not to crumble and be strong. The treatment and the support available is phenomenal and do not be afraid to use it. The feeling poorly, tired and sick is a small price to pay to save your life. Speak up, ask questions and more importantly, live life to the fullest as it’s far too short!!

Thanks so much to Becky for sharing her story with us.

Feeling inspired? It could be you at the Great Manchester Run 10k finishing line next year, having achieved something amazing for yourself and our charity. Register your interest today.

Every step you run brings us one step closer to breast cancer free future.

Published On: November 30th, 2023 /

Would you like to share your story?

We’re always looking to speak to people who are interested in sharing their story and experience of breast cancer. It not only helps us spread awareness but can be helpful for others who are dealing with the disease. If this is a cause close to your heart and you would be comfortable sharing your journey with other supporters, and potentially the media, then please get in touch today by emailing

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About Prevent Breast Cancer

Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer – we’re committed to freeing the world from the disease altogether. Unlike many cancer charities, we’re focused on preventing, rather than curing. Promoting early diagnosis, screening and lifestyle changes, we believe we can stop the problem before it starts. And being situated at the only breast cancer prevention centre in the UK, we’re right at the front-line in the fight against the disease. Join us today and help us create a future free from breast cancer. If you have any questions or concerns, email us today.