Cat refuses to give in to fate

Cat Keeney hugs her son Alexander.
Cat Keeney hugs her son Alexander.

A Newarthill woman has had both breasts removed after her family medical history revealed she had a 97 per cent chance of getting cancer.

Cat Keeney made the decision to undergo surgery at the age of 29 as six members of her family, including her Great Uncle Josey and her mum Angela, were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Angela survived after undergoing a double mastectomy of her own, but Josey and two of Cat’s aunts sadly passed away from the disease.

Cat said: “We don’t know if there is a mutated gene in the family’s DNA or what is the cause, but for some reason we have a very high rate of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“My great uncle had it and my mum and her four sisters did too so there seemed little chance it would skip a generation.

“As such once my son Alexander was born I set the ball rolling to have my breasts removed as a precautionary measure.

“When you seem perfectly healthy it is not easy to persuade doctors that you need this done, but they worked out that with my family history I had a 97 per cent chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer and were happy to proceed.”

Cat underwent her surgery in March and is now undergoing reconstructive surgery to give her a natural looking bustline.

She said: “I am still a little bit sore under one of my arms so I need to see a surgeon to find out what is going on there.

“Basically I just see it that I have donated my breasts to science and I am growing to love my new body.

“Anything that gives me more time to enjoy life with my son and fiancé Thomas is completely worth it.”

Cat is keen to empower woman who have undergone a similar procedure, including her own sister Amanda Stewart from Carluke who had her breasts removed over the summer, and has set up the Facebook page My Prophylactic Mastectomy

Cat said: “I want women to realise there is nothing to be embarrassed about and to be proud of my scars.

“I want them to know that there a place where they can be supported by other woman who have gone through the procedure.

“I found there was very little support out there in the lead up to my procedure, but now just in my own family I can support my sister who is at a different stage to me, but she knows I won’t be sugarcoating anything.”

Cat has to put up with abuse on Facebook from people claiming she is displaying her breasts, but says that won’t stop her.

She said: “It’s not like I’m just posting pics of my boobs, there are a lot more offensive things to be looking at than a woman’s scars and I will not take my pics down as I am not violating Facebook community standards.”