A KELTY woman who survived cancer has become the trustee of a charity as she looks to spread awareness around the disease.

Barbara Boyd was diagnosed with mouth cancer which led to her having part of her tongue removed, meaning she had to learn how to talk with her re-shaped tongue.

Following the terrifying episode, Barbara discovered the charity Let’s Talk about Mouth Cancer, and became involved in fundraisers and eventually was named a patient champion.

More than a year since that, however, Barbara is set to become a trustee of the charity, meaning she will have power to raise awareness off her own back and get the message out to more people.

One of the main messages Barbara wants to get across to people is that if they have anything in their mouth bothering them for more than a fortnight, they should get to a dentist.

Speaking to the Times last week as part of Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, Barbara said: “I’m wanting to promote self-checking your mouth. It’s easy to do with a mirror and your fingers. If there’s something wrong for two weeks you should go to a dentist.”

Speaking to the Times previously, Barbara described how her ordeal began.

She said: “I became aware of something underneath my tongue and it was found to be a tumour which was discovered in time to tackle the problem.

"It meant that I had to have part of my tongue removed, which was successfully done, and then during my rehabilitation time I had to basically learn how to use my newly shaped tongue to speak properly again.

"It took time but I was able to achieve that."

She continued: “Let's Talk About Mouth Cancer gets out the message that people should examine the inside of their mouth regularly and their tongue to check for any irregularities, for like any cancer this form of it needs to be tackled as soon as possible after it is found," she said.

"Your lips, cheeks, tongue, roof of your mouth and floor of it need to be examined to check for any unusual changes swelling or ulcers.

"And if you find something unusual get it checked as soon as possible. It may be not anything serious but it could be cancer and if it is the earlier it is found the quicker treatment can begin."

With fundraising particularly difficult due to current pandemic restrictions, Barbara is organising a Christmas quiz and a virtual networking event which she hopes will bring in some extra money for the charity.

Details of both events are yet to be confirmed but will be in due course.