Sarah Cawood has revealed she’d been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, after doctors discovered a lump during her routine mammogram.
The presenter, 50, who previously fronted 90s favourites Live And Kicking and Top Of The Pops, admitted that she feels ‘lucky’ that doctors discovered the disease at an early stage.
Sarah also told The Sun that she will undergo a lumpectomy following by radiotherapy and long-term hormone treatment, and has since been struggling with the menopause after being advised to stop taking HRT.
Health update: Sarah Cawood has revealed she’d been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, after doctors discovered a lump during her routine mammogram
Explaining the moment she received her diagnosis, Sarah explained that after undergoing a routine mammogram doctors sent her for a follow-up, having discovered a lump in her breast.
Following an ultrasound and a biopsy, she was told that the lump wasn’t a cyst, and she assumed the worst as she headed to meet the surgeon.
However, despite receiving a cancer diagnosis, Sarah, who lives in Essex with her husband Andy Merry and their two children, said doctors reassured her that the condition was treatable.
Throwback: The presenter who previously fronted 90s favourites Live And Kicking and Top Of The Pops, admitted that she feels ‘lucky’ that doctors discovered the disease early
She explained: ‘The surgeon went, ”Can you see that? That’s a very small cancerous lump”. And I went, ”Oh, OK, is it aggressive?”.
‘And she said, ”No”.. And I went, ”Brilliant”… I was like, ”OK, so easily fixed?”, and she was like, ”Yes, not really much of a problem.”
‘It really is the Carlsberg of breast cancers. If you have to have it, this is the one to have. I feel really lucky. There are people that really are up s**t creek without a paddle, who have cancer, and I am not that person.’
Important: Along with undergoing treatment for her diagnosis, Sarah said she is focused on raising her two children Hunter, 10, and Autumn, nine
Sarah did admit that after coming off HRT, she has been struggling with the effects of the menopause, particularly hot flushes and memory loss.
Reflecting on her own career, Sarah admitted that had she bared all and posed for racy lads mags shoots, like her peer Denise Van Outen, she may have gotten more TV work,
Despite describing her breasts as ‘epic,’ the mother-of-two opted against posing for the shoots due to a ‘weird sense of propriety.’ adding her then-boyfriend Adam Devlin also stopped her from baring all.
Sarah rose to fame in the 90s for her presenting role on The Girlie Show, before hosting Live & Kicking, Top Of The Pops and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Progress: Following her diagnosis, Sarah revealed that she will undergo a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and a long-term hormone treatment
After many of her presenting jobs were axed or shelved, Sarah said her primary focus is motherhood and raising her two children, alongside hosting her menopause podcast Irregular B****es with pal Lou Mitchell.
In 2016 Sarah revealed she was just ‘24 hours from death’ when her C-section scar became twisted around her bowel and turned gangrenous.
Speaking on Loose Women she said: ‘I was 24 hours from death’, she declared, explaining that her internal organs got stuck to the scar, cutting off the blood supply and developing into septicemia.
Candid: Reflecting on her own career, Sarah admitted that had she bared all and posed for racy lads mags shoots, like her peer Denise Van Outen, she may have gotten more TV work
Finally, twelve hours after she was admitted to A&E, Sarah ended up being operated on in surgery.
The former TV star recalled thinking, ‘I’m a goner’, when doctors discovered an obstruction in her stomach, initially believing it could have been an ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis.
‘I was frightened for my life’, she said. ‘But I didn’t know I nearly died until after the surgery.
‘I fell blessed and I see my scar as a victory sign.’
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