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A menopausal woman has said not giving up sex saved her life after her husband noticed a lump in her breast – that turned out to be cancer.

Tina Gray, 52, went through menopause two years ago but was adamant she wanted to keep up her sex life with her husband Dez, 51.

Tina and Dez made a conscious effort to keep their spark alive and grew closer than ever.

Tina thought she felt something unusual in her left breast, so asked Dez to check – and he immediately detected a lump he was certain wasn’t there before.

Tina, from Aldershot, amoxicillin drug interaction Hampshire, says: ‘It was such a huge shock when we found the lump – you do momentarily find yourself facing your own mortality.

‘As soon as Dez felt the lump, he knew something wasn’t right.

‘I trusted his judgement and went straight to a doctor – after all, who would be more familiar with my breasts than my husband?’

It turned out to be a cancerous mass and Tina says it was Dez’s familiarity with her boobs which saved her life.

She was able to undergo surgery to have a lump in each breast removed before the cancer spread.

‘Menopause has brought us closer than ever,’ says Tina. ‘We became more intimate and Dez grew very interested in my boobs which has now meant he’s saved my life.

‘Shout out to the NHS for moving so quickly and to Macmillan for the incredible support, but mostly to my husband who I just want to marry all over again after 20 years together.’

Tina started to go through menopause back in 2020 and found that the change affected many aspects of her body.

Although finding sex could be uncomfortable or painful as a result of the menopause, Tina was determined to find ways to keep that intimate connection with her other half.

‘When the menopause started, it was like I was going through puberty again but in reverse,’ says Tina.

‘I just had to be open with Dez and communicate how I was feeling instead of pushing him away so he could understand what I was going through.

‘It’s not that I didn’t want to have sex with him, it’s just that sometimes I couldn’t because it was uncomfortable or even painful.

‘We’re not alone any more, there is plenty of stuff out there that can help couples have a sex life when going through menopause, you just have to look for it.

‘Instead of pushing us apart, it just brought us closer. Our sex life didn’t end, we just had to adjust.’

Tina had been watching television one evening without a bra on when she felt a hard lump just above her nipple as she brushed her arm past her left breast.

Concerned, she told her husband and Dez said something felt odd in the exact same place that Tina had felt.So, she booked herself in to see her GP on August 11 who referred her to a breast surgeon.

‘We’ve been together a long time so I’m well versed with the geography of Tina’s upper torso,’ says Dez.

‘I was having a rummage, like you do, and felt concerned that there was something unusual in her breast which we felt we needed to have checked out.

‘It was scary, the unknown was frightening. We knew we had to go get it sorted.’

Tina was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer with a doctor feeling the lump they had found in her left breast as well as a smaller lump in her right breast.

The mum of one went in for surgery on October 20 where the lumps were excised and biopsies were taken from her sentinel nodes.

Doctors revealed that Tina had stage one invasive ductal carcenoma in her right breast and stage three in her left.

But thanks to Dez’s quick discovery, they were able to remove all of the cancer during surgery before it spread to other areas of Tina’s body, effectively saving her life.

Tina, who has a 24-year-old son, adds: ‘Going through the menopause and then my cancer battle has just brought Dez and I closer than ever.

‘I couldn’t have got through all of this without my supportive family and the MacMillan nurse who was with me for every appointment. Even with a mask on, I could see her eyes were smiling at me and it was such a comfort.

‘Dez and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary in October, and now I just want to marry him all over again – I just want to show him how much I love him.’

Dez says he feels ‘privileged’ to have played a part in helping his wife discover that something was wrong, and getting it treated early enough.

‘I feel privileged and proud that I could help,’ he says, ‘and the whole thing has brought us even closer still.’

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