sports

Beattie urges breast screening after 'tricky time'


Scotland defender Jen Beattie and head coach Pedro Martinez Losa
Jen Beattie will again be central to head coach Pedro Martinez Losa’s plans against Sweden
Venue: SMISA Stadium, Paisley Date: Tuesday, 26 October Kick-off: 19:05 BST
Coverage: Live action on BBC Alba, iPlayer & online from 18:55.

Scotland and Arsenal centre-half Jen Beattie is encouraging women to get screened following her “really difficult” period with breast cancer.

Beattie was diagnosed a year ago, a few days after a biopsy, before having surgery to remove the lump in her breast.

Although the 30-year-old was still able to play football, she admits it was a “very tricky time”.

“I was away from family and friends through the pandemic,” she says.

“I was going to the majority of appointments by myself. I leaned on my team-mates during those couple of months more so than ever – and they were amazing.”

It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, before Tuesday’s friendly at home to Sweden, Beattie stresses the importance of every woman getting checked, sharing her “really safe” experience of being in GP surgeries and hospitals during the pandemic.

“A lot of people maybe don’t think they’ll go through something difficult like that,” she says. “Me personally, I had zero family history of breast cancer, or any type of cancer, so it’s more common than we think. But if people get checked and find these things early then it can be okay.

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

Beattie also thinks staying active can play a big role in recovery.

“Football was 100% my release,” she adds. “When I went into training, I felt normal. I was so grateful that even though I came 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, I would encourage anyone when they’re going through a difficult spell to exercise.”



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