TV presenter Julia Bradbury announced that she has breast cancer and urged other women to check their breasts and seek help if they notice any changes.
The 51-year-old presenter will undergo a mastectomy in October to remove her left breast, along with her 6cm tumor. Surgeons will also take tissue from her lymph nodes to determine if the disease has spread or not.
Bradbury, who made a name for himself presenting the BBC Countryfile, said she was going public to encourage others to get tested.
“My plan is to go through this and come out to the other side and I hope I can do it bravely enough that women who are afraid of getting tested, of being diagnosed, move on. I want to be able to wave at them and tell them look, this is horrible, but you can do it too, ”she told the Mail on Sunday.
She urged women not to ignore the warning signs: “We must, must, must control ourselves and ask for help. Being afraid of a diagnosis could be the thing that is killing you. So learn what to look for and check, check, check. Doctors are experts, but only you can press on a lump, find out how you’re feeling, and think you should do something about it. “
Bradbury was diagnosed in July, shortly before going on vacation with her partner, Gerard, and their three children, their son Zeph, 10, and their twins Zena and Xanthe, six.
Doctors told her that cancer cells are currently confined in her milk ducts and have not yet spread to breast tissue. This means that, despite the large size of the tumor, she may not need chemotherapy.
Additionally, she may be able to keep her nipple and it is unlikely that she will need a skin graft to complete her reconstructive surgery. “It’s pretty good on the cancer scale,” she told The Mail on Sunday. “But like all tumors, until you get there, you never know.”
She said she was going to see a mastectomy counselor to help her psychologically come to terms with the procedure.
“At the end of the day, if a mastectomy helps you mend, that’s a good thing. But you feel like you are losing part of yourself, part of your gender identity, and part of your motherhood experience. I breastfed my babies with this breast and when I look down I imagine my twins and Zeph in front of them on it. It hurts, ”she told the newspaper.
She comforted herself by joking with friends about how her new breast looked, but insisted, “I won’t take the opportunity to perfect myself, to do a Dolly Parton.”
Bradbury shared how she attended the National Television Awards earlier this month, wearing a silver off-the-shoulder jumpsuit cut across the chest. It was both an act of defiance and farewell, she said – “a kind of farewell to the body I have lived in all these years”.
It was difficult to put on a brave face, not having made the news public yet. “I was in a club with friends like Ben Shephard and Cherry Healey. Kate Garraway won the award for Best Documentary for her show about her husband Derek Draper’s battle with the long Covid. It sparked a deep conversation about life changing moments and how everyone struggles with something, ”she said.
“It was difficult to participate. I hadn’t told them yet so I had to walk away. I slipped into the bar for another glass of water with lime cut to look like tonic vodka. Normally I would swing from rafters to NTAs, be the last woman standing, but I was home by 10pm, not even drinking hot chocolate.
Bradbury has become one of the campaign’s best-known British champions, with hit shows such as Britain’s Best Walks and Great Britain’s Wonders. She made her television debut in the 1990s as a Hollywood reporter for GMTV and gained national notoriety as a Countryfile presenter between 2004 and 2014 alongside Matt Baker.