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Breast surgeon with breast cancer delivers annual lecture

08 November 2018

A breast cancer surgeon who has shared her experiences with patients worldwide after receiving treatment for the disease delivered this year’s Sir James Paget Memorial Lecture.


Left to right, Trust Chair Anna Davidson, Dr Liz O’Riordan and Chief Executive Christine Allen. 


Dr Liz O’Riordan, consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2015, at the age of 40.

She started a blog to help her come to terms with her diagnosis, with her work resulting in her being nominated for a ‘Woman of the Year’ award in 2016.

In front of a full house at the James Paget University Hospital’s Burrage Centre today (Thursday, 8 November), Dr O’Riordan described her experiences in a lecture entitled ‘Trust me, I’m a Patient - a Doctor’s Journey.’

During the course of an hour-long presentation, Dr O’Riordan explained how, despite extensive knowledge gained through years as a doctor treating patients with cancer, she was not prepared for the effects of treatment involved – but it had given her an important insight into patient experience.

“It’s an honour and privilege to come to give the Sir James Paget Memorial Lecture,” she said.

“Being a patient has drastically changed the way I practise as a doctor and it has made me think about what really is quality of care and how anyone can make a little difference to improve the care of patients.”

Before delivering the lecture, Dr O’Riordan was welcomed to the hospital by Chief Executive Christine Allen and Chair Anna Davidson.

“We are delighted that Liz found time in her busy schedule to deliver this year’s Sir James Paget Memorial Lecture,” said Anna.

“Liz has a unique perspective on breast cancer and its treatment, as both a specialist and a patient – and her work continues to be empowering and supportive for patients as well as inspiring for healthcare professionals.”

Dr O’Riordan has co-authored 'The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer: How to Feel Empowered and Take Control' with Professor Trisha Greenhalgh. The book is available in paperback or e-book from Amazon, Wordery and Hive.

For more information about Dr O’Riordan and her work, visit