Jeanette Costigan

Jeanette’s Experience

I was diagnosed with 60mm invasive lobular breast cancer, lymph node negative, ER positive and HER2 negative, in June 2015.  I had surgery to remove the tumour, however, as close margins were not achieved, I then underwent adjuvant chemotherapy, then mastectomy followed by radiotherapy. I tried endocrine therapy as recommended by my oncologist, however, I stopped taking it due to the side effects. Two years after my treatment had finished I had delayed LD flap breast reconstruction with implant.

Experience with Cancer Research

I am a recently retired ex-Global HR Director and a new member of the Oxford PPI Advisory Group.

I worked within the medical communications field for 28 years; the last 20 years with Oxford PharmaGenesis. I am a non-scientist, however, I always found the industry to be very interesting and stimulating.  I particularly enjoyed working with talented and creative scientists who were adept at turning complex scientific data into communications relevant for their intended audiences; these were often patients but also fellow scientists and clinicians.  Although my responsibilities at Oxford PharmaGenesis were firmly rooted in human resources, I learned a lot about medical communications through working closely with my expert colleagues on a daily basis.  I have left the company now, however, I am still in contact with my ex-colleagues and I know that they would assist me if I needed their input.

I have a passion for clearly written and straight forward information. While working in HR, I particularly enjoyed writing company policies and procedures based on sometimes confusing employment legislation. It was also important that they aligned with company culture and I took pleasure in ensuring that they did. I would enjoy helping to write lay summaries or other communications, as needed, as part of my role with the Oxford PPI Advisory Group.

During my cancer diagnosis and treatment, I do remember being bombarded with information, acronyms, data and choices, much of which I found confusing. I wished at the time, that someone could have explained it all to me in layman’s terms so that I felt more empowered to make the right decisions for me. I am keen to help others in similar situations to make informed choices about their treatments.

My style of working is one of collaboration, empowerment and playing to people’s strengths. I have been looking for an interesting project to work on since I retired and I believe that my role with the Oxford PPI Advisory Group will be stimulating, play to my strengths and, of course, be a very worthwhile investment of my time.

Areas of Interest

  • Breast cancer
  • Very happy to contribute to projects outside the areas above