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Angelina Jolie an 'inspiration', says Seven Kings breast cancer survivor

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 May 2013

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

PA Wire/Press Association Images

After Angelina Jolie bravely spoke out about having both her breasts removed to lower her chances of contracting cancer, one Seven Kings survivor believes it will help "inspire" others to get the help they need.

Seema Jaya SharmaSeema Jaya Sharma

In undertaking a double mastectomy, the actress has made a “huge difference” to others who might be afraid to get tested or see being diagnosed with cancer as the end, according to Seema Jaya Sharma.

The mother-of-two, of Pembroke Road, Seven Kings, was diagnosed with cancer in October 2009 and has since had a lumpectomy, lymph nodes removed, mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She said: “I think it is fantastic what she has done. She is one of the most beautiful and famous actresses out there and for people to see her looking so perfect will make a huge difference to people who maybe afraid to get tested or get the help they need.”

The 35-year-old, who has appeared in awareness campaigns for Cancer Research UK, said: “Some may be worried how they’ll look afterwards, but seeing her will inspire them to do what they need to do.

“More awareness is needed about cancer, especially in the Asian community, and this will go along way in raising the profile of the options out there.”

After finding out she had the BRCA1 gene, giving her an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer, Angelina elected to remove her breast tissue completely, reducing her chance to under five per cent.

Suhaila Tauheed, a counsellor at Sue’s House, Dawlish Drive, Goodmayes, said: “A lot of women are afraid to talk about their illness and many have told me how courageous she is to have made people aware of her decision.

“I think it a great thing what she has done to highlight the major problem which effects so many men and women.

“No-one goes into a decision like that lightly and in the end she made the decision for her children and put herself in control of the situation.”

Between 2008 and 2010, 77 people in Redbridge died from breast cancer and a further 232 people from other forms of the disease.

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