The mum and sister of a woman who has been diagnosed with incurable stage 4 cancer at the age of just 23 are urging other young women to check their breasts and be insistent with doctors if they feel something is not right.
Nail technician Tasmin Gooding, from Westgate, first found a lump in her breast last November. After seeing her doctor she was referred to the breast care unit and then was sent to Canterbury where needle biopsies were taken.
Mum Angela said: “She came out and said they had taken biopsies but were more concerned with a darkened area at the back of her nipple than with the lump. Then we got a letter saying it was hormonal and we were all happy about that.
“In February she had these neck pains and we assumed it was because of her job, where she bends over, and the doctor said it was nothing major.
“Everything was fine until August when I noticed she was losing weight. She was dieting but the weight was just falling off her.”
Angela, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, said at first she thought maybe Tasmin wasn’t eating properly after moving into her own place and was possibly depressed although she later realised she could see her daughter’s collarbone sticking out due to the weight loss.
Angela said: “Then Tasmin phoned me to say she had found another lump in her armpit.”
A GP appointment was followed by an ultrasound and a biopsy and then Tasmin was sent for a mammogram.
Tasmin was called in to the hospital and then that meeting was brought forward and moved to the last slot of the day. Angela said: “They said to bring someone with her so we knew it wouldn’t be good.”
The consultant said she had breast cancer but it was treatable. But sadly the diagnosis would rapidly deteriorate.
Angela said: “Tasmin then had to have a PET scan and then there was another meeting with the consultant. They said there were dark masses on her spine. She had an MRI and then they said the cancer was grade 4 and incurable.”
The spread to Tasmin’s spine means it has started to disintegrate and she has to undergo an operation for that before she can begin chemotherapy. That treatment, which was also delayed because Tasmin caught covid, is aimed at extending life but cannot eradicate the disease which has also spread into her neck and pelvis.
Angela says she feels if a mammogram was carried out on Tasmin’s first visit the outcome could have been different, especially given the family history with breast cancer.
She added: “But now she is on palliative care.”
Tasmin’s sister Jo said: “Young women need to check their breasts and mammograms need to be given to younger women. If you find something, stand your ground, we believe Tasmin should have had a mammogram much earlier.”
A fundraiser that was set up by Tasmin’s friend and work colleague Jasmin Finch, owner of Enhance Thanet beauty & aesthetics, was initially to buys items such a pyjamas and toiletries to help make having treatment more comfortable.
Sadly, it is now raising funds to pay for Tasmin’s bucket list.
Jo said: “When Tasmin has finished chemo she wants to do her bucket list while she is still well enough. She wants to take the whole family to Florida, she wants to go to Hawaii and help the turtles, she wants to travel.
“It’s so hard but she’s doing so well staying strong. She wants to make the most of life and we want to help her fulfil her bucket list.”
The fundraiser initially had a £2000 target but donations have now reached £12,204.