A SELBY councillor has urged women around the region to check themselves for breast cancer, after she underwent surgery recently.

Councillor Doreen Davies has worked for the Selby community for more than 30 years and has been mayor of the town three times, and visited her doctor for a routine check up of an existing ailment last year.

Coun Davies said: "I went to the Beech Tree surgery with a knee problem and I told them I had a lump in my breast. The doctor examined me that morning and that afternoon I had a phone call from York Cancer Unit and said I had to go see them.

"I thought at my age it won't be cancer. Every woman, no matter how young or old they are, should check themselves. Who would have thought that at 82 you would get breast cancer?"

Coun Davies was taken into hospital and had her right breast removed. Weeks later, she found a lump on her head which doctors feared would be skin cancer, and she was again hospitalised for treatment.

She said: "I kept very very quiet about it when it happened in October. My quality of life from getting to know I had cancer to having the operation and having radiotherapy just dropped.

"I had radiotherapy for the lump on my head which burned me. I thought what would my mother have put on and used Vaseline and it cleared it right up. It's nearly healed up now where they have scraped it all out and as far as I know they got it all. I have to go back in six weeks time to see if it's healed up."

Coun Davies said she had "always been vibrant and tried to help people", and said the work of not only the medical professionals but everyone who helped her through her illness was "brilliant".

She expressed her thanks to York Hospital, both the cancer unit and A&E, Selby War Memorial Hospital, Beech Tree Surgery, St James' in Leeds. She also thanked her son Glynn and his wife Elaine, and younger brother Stan and his wife Valerie Andrews, for supporting her through her illness.

She said: "I'm getting back to normal, but I won't say 100 per cent. I'll be on tablets for five years but I have no choice."