Young cancer survivor from Ewloe shares tips to beat ‘hidden costs’ of disease

Reporter:

David Humphreys

A young cancer survivor has recorded a series of candid videos with her own self-care tips for fellow cancer sufferers.

As part of an awareness campaign for a national cancer charity that supported her following her shock diagnosis, Seren Hughes, 21, from Ewloe, is one of five young people from around the UK who have joined forces with CLIC Sargent to contribute videos to a new online resource.

The ‘Looking after yourself’ programme is part of a month-long awareness drive from the charity called #NoFilter4Cancer which aims to reveal the hidden costs of cancer for young people in body image, self-care and mental health.

It contains practical advice about the specific issues that young people face, and how cancer can impact their body, hair, appearance, health and well being.

Seren was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, aged just 19, after she began feeling unwell during her first year at Salford University.

After having a blood test, Seren was told to go to A&E straight away.

Doctors discovered a cyst and Seren then underwent surgery to remove her left ovary and fallopian tube.

Two weeks later, she was told they had found cancerous cells and she began a course of chemotherapy.

She said: “My mum and dad burst into tears while I was just asking lots of questions about what was going to happen next.

“I was really determined to get through that period and planned loads of things for once the chemo was over like a big family barbecue and going to a music festival with my friends. I didn’t want to miss out.”

In a series of videos, Seren shares her expertise on topics such as how to deal with dry, oily or sensitive skin, which can be a problem resulting from chemotherapy.

Seren’s videos also include tips on makeup and tattoos, and how to exercise between cycles of chemotherapy.

She added: “It can be quite hard to exercise on treatment because of how tired you are. The best thing to do is either not do any exercise if you don’t feel like it, or if you do, do things that are quite easy like yoga or swimming.

“That can be between cycles if you’re having chemotherapy, you can do it when you feel your best.”

Kate Lee, chief executive at CLIC Sargent, said: “Together with young people like Seren, we are exposing the hidden costs of cancer and talk about what life really looks like for them. This campaign gives young people the power to explore body image and mental health issues and tell it how it is, unfiltered.”

For more information about the #NoFilter4Cancer campaign follow CLIC Sargent on social media or visit www.clicsargent.org.uk

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