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Dr. Kate Little: Both Sides of the Coin – Expectations and Experiences

In 2007 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy with axillary clearance and primary reconstruction, followed by chemotherapy. My time as a patient was coloured by my experience as a GP, and this is my story.

There are always things to be learned from the experiences of others, and I hope to be able to add to the knowledge and understanding of my colleagues by sharing this personal account. Whilst most of my encounters with those involved in my care, as well as with friends and family, were extremely positive, this was not always the case. I realised that sometimes we health professionals make assumptions and statements that perhaps we shouldn’t, and finding myself on the receiving end was very instructive and illuminating.

During my talk, the areas I will cover include:

  • The Diagnosis – receiving it and telling friends and family
  • The Operation
  • Chemotherapy and the Wigs
  • The Nipple
  • Recovery
  • Life After Breast Cancer

The talk will be illustrated with a few (not too revealing) photographs.