A NURSE within the Southern Trust, who is the longest serving Breast Cancer Specialist Nurse in the region, is retiring after a quarter of a century in her specialist role. Annie Treanor, from Burren, near Warrenpoint, has worked as a nurse for 39 years and has dedicated 25 years of those to providing advice and specialist breast care support to thousands before, during and after their treatment or operation for breast cancer. Annie began her journey as a nurse in 1984 and worked in various nursing roles until she began her career as a Breast Cancer Nurse (BCN) in January 1999 in the Ulster Hospital. She worked there until January 2005, when she started in the Southern Trust. The local woman said that it seems surreal to have marked 25 years as a Specialist Breast Cancer Nurse. “I consider myself very privileged to be a specialised nurse in this field. The role has evolved over the past 25 years and that is unfortunately because the number of breast cancer diagnosis have increased.
frightening word, there is so much more research, advancements and new treatment options now, that we can give many patients much more hope.” Annie added that amongst the sadness and difficulties of caring and supporting patients through this period in their lives, each has left a lasting memory in her heart. “There have been many highs and lows throughout this time but I have to say one of my proudest achievements is transforming the service from a medical model to a nurse-led recovery package which has empowered patients to take control of the management of their own health,” she continued.
Instrumental in promoting breast cancer awareness, in 2019 she even teamed up with Dr Hilary and the Lorraine Show team from ITV to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month as part of the lifesaving ‘Change and Check’ campaign. She has also helped to raise awareness of male breast cancer and starred in an online breast examination video as well as receiving a top accolade at the Nursing Standards Awards for the Transforming Cancer Follow Up (TCFU) programme, which helped improve aftercare for local patients.
Having played an invaluable role within the multidisciplinary team of consultants, nurses, breast care assistants and radiologists, Annie added: “Working within a breast care team, there are good days and bad days but we all look out for one another and support each other as well as our patients. “The support I have received from Trust management over my time has also been very much appreciated.” Tracey McGuigan, Lead nurse of the breast care team, said Annie will be missed by both work colleagues and patients. “Dedicated, caring, a great support, fantastic, one in a million – these are just some of the words used to describe Annie from the thousands of patients that she has cared for,” she explained. “Annie is a truly outstanding nurse who has touched and made a difference to so many patients’ lives. “Thousands of patients and relatives are grateful for her immense professional skill, but above all for her unique kindness, listening, personal touch, faithfulness, integrity and understanding and we wish her a happy and healthy retirement,” she added.