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Norwich man's breast cancer battle

PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:28 02 July 2010

Breast cancer survivor Jason Leech with his wife Rachel.

Breast cancer survivor Jason Leech with his wife Rachel.

Peter Walsh

A man who was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago has decided to speak out after receiving the devastating news that the disease has returned - in a brave bid to help others by raising awareness about the illness.

A man who was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago has decided to speak out after receiving the devastating news that the disease has returned - in a brave bid to help others by raising awareness about the illness.

Jason Leech, 42, had one of his breasts removed after the small lumps under his arms and bigger lump under his nipple were diagnosed as breast cancer in 2004.

Mr Leech, who lives at Bramerton, near Norwich, endured five sessions of chemotherapy and 15 rounds of radiotherapy following the discovery and appeared to be on the mend.

But last year, the former demolition worker was given the news he had been dreading - that the cancer had returned, not only to his breast area, but to other parts of his body, including his lung, liver, bones, and neck.

Mr Leech, who first spoke of his cancer battle in the Evening News in 2008, is again undergoing a treatment of chemotherapy, but this time not to save him, but to prolong his life for as long as possible.

He said: “I was clear up until June last year and then it came back in various places. I'm having treatment, which is working, but it's incurable.

“I will deal with it and live with it, and have the treatment, hoping that after this lot it will stay away for months or years. It's there, it's not going away. We've all got to take what life throws at us and make the best of it.”

Mr Leech says he has another treatment of chemotherapy to go after which he will have regular check ups at the hospital to see how his body has responded.

He said he will deal with whatever is thrown at him over the coming weeks and months, but wants to give other people the chance to do something about it before it is too late.

He said: “We're just doing as much as we can to raise awareness. It does affect men as well, which a lot of people don't realise. I had heard of it in men before, so wasn't 100pc surprised.

“This can and does happen. People should keep an eye on themselves and keep checking for lumps and bumps, and if they do find something get to the doctors as soon as possible.”

In October last year, Mr Leech married Rachel, his girlfriend of five years, and the couple hope to have many more happy years together.

But Mr Leech said he might not be spending his first wedding anniversary with his wife as she will be climbing Africa's most famous peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness.

He added: “I was supposed to be climbing Kilimanjaro in October for the charity, but because I don't know whether I will be fit enough, my wife is going to do it. I was going to arrange for someone else to do it, but she said she would.”

Mr Leech said his wife, who he met about five years ago at the Blueberry pub in Norwich where she worked, had been marvellous throughout everything he had been through.

The couple were at the Brickmakers pub, in Sprowston Road, on Monday where 10 bands took part in a 12 hour charity gig in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Mrs Leech, who is a regular at the pub and friend of landlady Pam South, said: “I myself don't know how I'd deal with it but he does. He's a fighter.”

In order for Rachel to be able to take part in the climb the couple need to raise £3,700, but they are hoping to top the £5,000 mark in total.

To donate money log onto www.justgiving.com/jasonleech

Are you defying illness to help others? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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