A mother has made a desperate appeal for women not to delay treatment during the pandemic after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Jo Burgess’ world was turned upside-down in March when she found a lump in her breast.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes.

The mum, from Appleby, has undergone extensive treatment, including a course of chemotherapy together with plans for an operation this month.

She said: “I tried to stay calm but did a thorough check and found a second lump in my armpit. I knew that meant it could be cancer that had spread and I spent most of that night sitting on the sofa downstairs going through worst case scenarios.

“I persuaded myself that I’d overreacted, thinking it must be swollen glands and I did not want to disturb the GP with the concerns around Covid-19.

“My amazing husband was insistent, so I was seen by the GP who immediately referred me to Carlisle.

"Then lockdown hit and I got covid-19, fortunately for both me and my husband it was relatively mild.

“On April 21, I got the results that it hadn’t spread further – this was the biggest relief, and my first chemotherapy session was on May 18, just over two months from finding the lump.

“This was a very tough time, having four rounds of aggressive treatment every three weeks, including injections to help boost my immune system which I really dreaded.

“I tended to have one bad week, one improving week and one good week with every cycle."

She’s hoping for the operation this month so she can recover over Christmas but there maybe more treatment in the new year.

Jo added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who looked after during the diagnosis, treatment and follow up.

“Most of all I would advise anyone in a similar position not to delay going to the GP, the outcome is better when you are seen sooner.”