Dr. Tina Hickey

Dr. Tina Hickey

Patient Advocate; Member of NCCP Survivorship Steering Group; Assoc. Prof. (Emeritus), School of Psychology UCD

The narrative of breast cancer most often seen on TV and in cancer charity advertising tends  to portray chemotherapy as an intrinsic part of breast cancer treatment. Yet overall, more than half of recent female breast cancer patients in Ireland did not undergo chemotherapy as part of their treatment (NCRI, 2019), and this group is likely to increase further given medical advances.

I am one of those patients, and here I will explore the psycho-social implications of diverging from the common narrative of breast cancer treatment, and ask how psycho-oncology can be more inclusive of patient groups with diverse illness narratives. Informed by my personal experience of breast cancer, I will first reflect on some emotional responses specific to this treatment path, which include Imposter Syndrome, Survivor’s Guilt and ‘Competitive Cancer’. Then I will consider some support needs specific to this treatment profile, and some shared with other profiles. Finally I will discuss some supports that helped.

3D mammosphere culture of breast epithelial cell line MCF10A.

Courtesy of Dr. Emer Bourke, NUI Galway

Phospho-Akt expression and localisation

Mediated by VEGF in A549 lung cancer cells. Visualised by high content image analysis.

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

Metaphase chromosome spread of Jurkat T-lymphoma cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

Apoptosis assessment of SKMES-1 lung cancer cells

Using a multiparameter apoptosis staining kit, showing cell nuclei (blue), actin (green) and mitochondrial activity (orange).

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

HeLa Cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

IACR & EACR Joint Conference 2020

26 — 28 February 2020 at Galway Bay Hotel, Galway

Mitotic Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia K562 Cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

Cell to Cell Tweeting

Via nanoparticles (red) in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

Courtesy of Sinéad Lindsay, UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin (UCD) Ireland.

Confocal Microscopy Analysis

Of phospho-Akt expression in H460 lung cancer cells in response to hypoxia (0.5% O2).

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

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