Julia Bradbury has told how there’s a ‘chance of recurrence’ for her breast cancer, of which she was first diagnosed in September last year.
Speaking during Wednesday’s Loose Women, the Countryfile presenter, 51, opened up about her health battle, telling the panel: ‘It genuinely is something that stays with you forever’.
During the interview, Julia, who recently shared her journey in her new ITV documentary, also told how she felt ‘guilty’ about her diagnosis and for bringing cancer into the lives of her loved ones.
Health battle: Julia Bradbury has told how there’s a ‘chance of recurrence’ for her breast cancer, of which she was first diagnosed in September last year
Discussing her show, titled Breast Cancer And Me, Julia explained how she was happy to show just how ‘vulnerable’ she was amid her cancer battle, before then admitting that there is a chance it could come back.
She said: ‘I think generally people were quite surprised at how vulnerable I appeared to be. I was happy to show that side.
‘Kelly Close [director] wanted it to be personal, touching and emotional. We don’t talk a lot about the emotional impact of having cancer. It’s a big thing psychologically to deal with.
‘It genuinely is something that stays with you forever. There is a chance of recurrence.’
Candid: Speaking during Wednesday’s Loose Women, the Countryfile presenter, 51, opened up about her health battle, telling the panel: ‘It genuinely is something that stays with you forever’
The star also explained the concept behind a SNPs test and said she is at moderate risk of recurrence. SNPs testing (pronounced snips, stands for single nucleotide polymorphisms, meaning a variation in a genetic sequence that affects only one of the basic DNA building blocks).
It can give those with an elevated risk of some diseases, such as Julia, an early warning by identifying genetic anomalies that raise the chance of breast cancer over a woman’s lifetime
She continued: ‘I found telling people quite hard because you see their reaction and sadness in their eyes.
‘Telling the children is a whole other level.’
The presenter then went on to express her guilt at her diagnosis, telling how the diseased ‘crashed’ into the lives of her loved ones.
Guilt: During the interview, Julia, who recently shared her journey in her new ITV documentary, also told how she felt ‘guilty’ about her diagnosis and for bringing cancer into the lives of her loved ones
Tough: Discussing her show, titled Breast Cancer And Me, Julia explained how she was happy to show just how ‘vulnerable’ she was amid her cancer battle, before then admitting that there is a chance it could come back
She explained: ‘You do feel guilty that this cancer diagnosis has crashed into your life but also crashed into all of your friends and family’s.
‘There is always someone who has had it much harder than you. You have to frame your own position and think of others.’
The mother-of-three also opened up on considering not telling her children about her cancer diagnosis, but knew that she wouldn’t be able to keep it from them because of her fame.
She added: ‘I thought that was an impossibility because of what I do. That’s why I controlled the story – I knew it would come out.’
It comes after Julia tearfully detailed how she had to say goodbye to her children three days before her mastectomy and how she struggled with losing her breast in her new documentary, Breast Cancer And Me.
Fearful: ‘It genuinely is something that stays with you forever. There is a chance of recurrence’
Opening up: The presenter then went on to express her guilt at her diagnosis, telling how the diseased ‘crashed’ into the lives of her loved ones
The TV veteran explained that due to coronavirus restrictions she was unable to see her kids and husband Joe Cunningham before the operation, as she opened up about her experience and recalled how her children asked her if her condition was ‘contagious like Covid’.
Mother of three Julia has candidly shared her journey with ITV viewers after first learning she had cancer in September last year, admitting that she ‘didn’t feel she had a choice’ about going public with the diagnosis.
During her experience, Julia filmed a video diary and explained how she had to hold her children for the last time three days before the surgery, she said: ‘I started self-isolating this morning. I took all my kids to school and waved goodbye at the gates. Then we all knew that I wouldn’t be able to hug them again until after the operation.
Lovely: Julia cut a stylish figure during her TV appearance, teaming a white blazer with a patterned white camisole and loose-fitting trousers
‘It’s an extra layer of complication that makes this horrible process even s****er. I don’t mind saying that I’m scared now and now it’s real dread that I’m feeling. You hope it’s a dream and you’re wrong.’
Julia was also lauded by fans as she went topless to reveal the results of her mastectomy and reconstruction.
She said: ‘I haven’t stood in front of the mirror as I wanted to feel emotionally ready and needed time to heal.
Taking a deep breath, Julia took off her bra and said: ‘There you go, there’s my new boob. Ok well it looks like a boob. It looks like a big lumpy boob.
Operation: It comes after Julia tearfully detailed how she had to say goodbye to her children three days before her mastectomy in her new documentary, Breast Cancer And Me
‘Can’t feel that at all, it might come back one day, the sensation, but I can’t feel my fingertips. It looks like a plasticine boob at the moment. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to.’
The hour-long documentary opened with Julia filming a woodland segment for This Morning, when she was awaiting the results of a recent biopsy – but she refused to take the call while away from home because there was nobody she felt ‘close to’ that would be able to support her.
Julia said: ‘I was away with a new team, up trees and there were emails back and forth about when I could take this call to hear the results of a biopsy I’d had done a week before, on a lump in my left breast.
Family first: Julia, who shares her kids – Zephyr, 10, and twins Xanthe and Zena, both seven, with husband Joe Cunningham, kept her diagnosis hidden for a while because she didn’t want her children to hear the news from anyone else
So brave: Julia was lauded by fans as she went topless on camera after the mastectomy- as she checked out her new breast
‘I knew I wouldn’t be able to take the call because I wasn’t prepared for it to be bad news and I wasn’t with someone I knew, to be able to ask to take some time out to process it.
After waiting to take the call at home, Julia recalls how she was told their was a ‘big tumour’ in her left breast, adding: ‘So I thought I’d delay that until I was back. I was ready for the call and I was here at home, it was a sunny day and my consultant called and said you do have cancer. And it’s a big tumour.’
Julia, who shares her kids – Zephyr, 10, and twins Xanthe and Zena, both seven, with husband Joe Cunningham, kept her diagnosis hidden for a while because she didn’t want her children to hear the news from anyone else.
Devastating: Mother of three Julia has candidly shared her journey with ITV viewers after first learning she had cancer in September last year, admitting that she ‘didn’t feel she had a choice’ about going public with the diagnosis
She said: ‘When you hear the words ‘you’ve got cancer’, your world stops. It is like moving instantly into slow motion. Just thought s**t, okay, I’ve got to live. I need and want to be here.
‘I didn’t want the information about my breast cancer to be out there before I told my children, I didn’t want them to hear mummy’s got cancer from someone else. I kept it to myself until I made sure everything was right at home with my family.’
Last month, Julia returned to This Morning, four months after her mastectomy and revealed her ‘healing is going very well’ as she continues to battle breast cancer.
The TV presenter told hosts Alison Hammond and Rochelle Humes: ‘Today I was ready!’ as she appeared down the line from the This Morning’s Forest.
Julia – who was unveiling the new ‘Plant A Tree’ campaign – was asked by the show’s hosts if she felt ready to be back at work, to which she responded with a smile.
She said: ‘First of all I wanna say thanks to the whole of the This Morning team – you’ve been checking in with me regularly to check how I’m doing.
‘And it is lovely to be back and you’ve been sending me little messages saying “are you ready? are you ready?”
‘And, today I was ready because it’s a beautiful morning in the forest and I wanted to help give away these trees. The doctor said “yes it’s alright”.
‘I’m recovering. I had a mastectomy a couple of months ago. I’ve been having lots of physio and lots of treatment. My healing is going very well thank you.
‘I’m taking this opportunity to suck in the green therapy. And I’m going to go for a little walk around the forest when we’ve finished here this morning.’
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men though this is rare.
Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast growing. High grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under the microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.
If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.
The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk, breastcancernow.org or www.cancerhelp.org.uk