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Scotland footballer Jen Beattie opens up on breast cancer battle during pandemic

Scotland football star Jen Beattie has told how her breast cancer battle was a “really difficult” time as she was forced to go to hospital appointments alone.

The 30-year-old was diagnosed a year ago as the country was in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which saw restrictions on visitors to medical hubs.

The Arsenal centre-half is urging others to get checked out if they have concerns as she revealed that there is no history of cancer in her family.

The Glasgow-born player has vowed to use her platform as a sporting icon to “start conversations” as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Scotland star Jen Beattie has opened up about her breast cancer battle

She said: “It feels bizarre that it’s a year on for me having finished my treatment just before Christmas.

“So it is emotive, to be perfectly honest, when it comes round to the whole awareness month.

“But I think it’s so important to have months like these to have the conversations and to encourage people to get checked.

“It’s important to use the platform that I have playing for Scotland and at club level as well, to voice my experience and what I went through to try and encourage people to go to GPs and to go to hospitals to get these things checked especially through a pandemic.

“Hospitals were one of the safest things from Covid so people can understand that and not be scared or anxious to go in and get checked, then it’s worth it.

She added: ”It was really difficult. Obviously I was away from family and friends as well through a pandemic and going to appointments majority of them by myself.

“It was a very, very tricky time and I leaned on my teammates probably more so during those couple of months than ever and they were amazing.

“I think a lot of people, naturally so, maybe don’t necessarily think that they’ll ever fall into that category or go through something difficult like that.

“Me personally, I had zero family history of breast cancer or any type of cancer so it’s not to categorise it as it’s only going to be one type of person that gets it.

“It’s more common than we think. But if we go get checked and find these things early, then it can be okay.”

She told how going to training while undergoing treatment helped her feel “normal” and urged others to embrace an active lifestyle.

Jen said: “I don’t know what I would’ve done without sport or exercise. I think it’s so, so important for anyone’s physical or mental health really to be active and to stay active.

“It was 100 per cent my release when I went into training. I felt normal and I was so grateful that even though I had come through something, I was still able to do my job and carry out my day to day life.

“Without a doubt, for physical and mental health, exercise would be encouraged to anyone I’d say when they’re going through a difficult spell.”

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