Cancer survivor from Houghton Regis is encouraging people to check themselves regularly

Cancer survivor Denise Coates with the Dunstable team at the shop opening.  Photo by: Sean Dillow.
Cancer survivor Denise Coates with the Dunstable team at the shop opening. Photo by: Sean Dillow.

A breast cancer survivor from Houghton Regis is marking World Cancer Day by raising awareness of the importance of early detection.

Denise Coates, 56, was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas in 2015 and she is now celebrating three years in remission.

Denise Coates

Denise Coates

Ever since she was diagnosed with the disease she has been raising awareness and doing inspirational talks at a number of events in the local area.

She said: “This year I will continue to raise awareness of breast cancer, the work Cancer Research UK (CRUK) do and encourage people to check themselves regularly, as early detection can save lives.

“On Friday I will be working with Cancer Research UK on a new video for their social media campaign. I will also be doing a talk at this year’s Race For Life. I will be sharing my experience with them and hopefully inspiring some of them and reinforcing the research work they do, as I’m on a life saving tablet.

“World Cancer Day this year marks the third year in remission for me.

“I am also hoping to work with Central Bedfordshire College and talk to the students about my experience and hopefully they can support the charity work I do.

“Collectively over the past two years Challney High School have raised £19,000. They have shared this with the Luton and Dunstable Breast Cancer Unit and CRUK. I’m in awe of the school, teachers and the amazing students, I can’t thank them enough.

“My passion for awareness in education is ongoing but I hope that sometime soon there will be progress and my desire for every secondary school pupil being educated on the early signs and self body examination will be forthcoming.”

As well as continuing to support the community and raise awareness locally, Denise will be volunteering in Africa and helping women there who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said: “I am starting to volunteer internationally with the Association of Breast Surgeons (ABS) on a project that will be supporting women in Africa who need breast cancer care, I want to raise awareness over there and help them, they have nothing there.

“But I will continue to raise awareness locally, I have been approached by a few groups in the area to do talks about the work I have done and my experience and I am happy to continue to do this.

“It is the same message, ladies, check yourselves regularly and go for your routine mammograms.

“If anyone ever needs to talk they can email me on