A CARING daughter whose mum beat cancer is urging people to check for early signs of the disease.

Seven years on from her mother’s cancer diagnosis, Neilston woman Charlotte Shand has told how grateful she is that they are still able to spend time together.

Charlotte, 21, is backing the #MySurvivor campaign, which highlights the role early diagnosis can play in improving cancer survival.

In October 2012, her mum Lesley was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer – a rare form of the disease affecting the part of the throat that connects the back of the nose to the back of the mouth – after going to her GP with concerns about a lump she found in her neck.

A nasendoscopy examination with the head and neck team at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital followed, where a consultant saw something up Lesley’s nose.

Following a biopsy, Lesley received her cancer diagnosis.

The mum-of-three then underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Charlotte, who was 15 at the time, said: “I remember coming in from school and instantly knowing something wasn’t right. There was just a weird atmosphere in the house.

“My mum sat me down and told me she’d been diagnosed with cancer and I just broke down in tears and ran to my room.

“I was going through every emotion you could think of, from shock to being upset and angry it had happened to her, to feeling helpless that I couldn’t do anything to take it away.

“I had my big brother and sister, Anthony and Victoria, so we could talk to each other and my mum didn’t have to see us upset.”

During her mum’s treatment, Charlotte did everything she could to keep everyone feeling positive.

“It was tough at times but we definitely became a lot closer and, for that, I’m so thankful,” continued Charlotte.

“Cancer isn’t an easy thing for anybody to go through but you need to go and get any unusual signs or potential cancer symptoms checked – not just for you but also for the people around you.”

Lesley, 56, who has become a grandmother since surviving her cancer scare, admits she struggled with the shock of her diagnosis.

“When I was told I had cancer, it felt like my whole world came crashing down,” she said. “I still go for check-ups and, even seven years on, I worry about it coming back.

“Once you’ve been through cancer, I don’t think you ever fully think everything is okay and there have been side-effects to the treatment, such as my hearing being affected and nerve damage causing pins and needles down the left side of my face, but I’m still here and I’m so thankful my cancer was found when it was.

“If you have a concern, go and get it checked. I always say to people to put their trust in the professionals and don’t go near Google. There’s lots of cancers that can be cured now and you’re giving yourself the best chance by seeing someone straight away.”

You can support the campaign by using #MySurvivor to share what a loved one’s cancer survival has meant to you.

Further details can be found online at getcheckedearly.org.