An inspirational breast surgeon who beat breast cancer has been shortlisted for an award for an acclaimed online blog which she created to chronicle her experience to help others.
Liz O’Riordan, of Elmswell, started writing her ‘Breast Surgeon with Breast Cancer’ blog when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2015.
Her online efforts attracted praise from doctors and patients, have been used in medical school lectures in South Africa and last year she won a Live Better With Cancer award after being named one of their top 20 cancer bloggers.
The 42-year-old, who is a consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon at Ipswich Hospital and received the all clear last year, has now been shortlisted in the UK Blog Awards in the health and social care category.
She said: “I’m a consultant breast surgeon and was in denial. How could I have breast cancer?
“The blog helped everything sink in. I found that I was able to educate doctors about what it was really like to have cancer, and to go through all the tests and treatments that we routinely order and don’t give a second thought to.
“I never set out to do this to get publicity or win awards and I’m continually amazed by the impact that my blog has had. Being nominated as a finalist has made me realise the power of social media and patient advocacy.”
Last year, Liz was named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ and joined more than 400 women from all walks of life at the Women of the Year Lunch in London. She continues to write her blog, focusing on her experiences of moving on after ending treatment including dealing with the side effects and exercising. She has also produced blogs for people about to start chemotherapy.
Liz plans to return to work soon and is training for a half-Ironman triathlon in Staffordshire in June.
The winners of the UK Blog Awards will be announced in April.