Julia Bradbury discusses her breast cancer diagnosis
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Julia Bradbury, 50, broke down while appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, while recalling an extremely difficult conversation she had with her three young children amid her breast cancer diagnosis. The Countryfile star voice broke as she explained how one of her daughters asked if they were still able to “hug her”, following the devastating news that she will require an emergency mastectomy next month.
Opening up on how she felt telling her children about her cancer diagnosis, Julia said: “It was the hardest conversation that I have ever had to have in my life. I really had to steel myself and try not to cry.
“To be strong but show them that you are vulnerable as well and one of my little girls said, ‘Can we still hug you, mummy?’
“I said, ‘Of course you can, I will need your hugs more than ever,’” at this point in the emotional chat the TV presenter struggled to carry on, prompting show host Emma Barnett to intervene.
The latter responded compassionately to Julia’s emotional display and suggested she take a minute to “re-group”.
The Woman’s Hour host said: “I’m going to give you a minute to re-group if I can and let you have a bit of water and bring in (breast surgeon) Liz O’Riordan at this point.”
Julia broke the news to her three children Zeph, 10, and six-year-old twins, Zena and Xanthe, who she shares with husband Gerard Cunningham, while walking around their garden at home last week.
She used the “living example” of her own parents, both of whom have survived cancer.
Doctors have thankfully caught the cancer early, giving the mum-of-three the best chance of survival.
Discussing how she discovered she had breast cancer, Julia revealed earlier in the chat: “Immediately he (the doctor) noticed something that he didn’t like and he pointed to a tiny pinprick of a shadow on the imaging screening. He said, ‘I don’t like the look of that, can we get you back down to radiology. Can you come today or tomorrow, can we work out what that is.’
“And I said, ‘Yes, of course’, my sister was downstairs, she was waiting for me, there was no rush.
“There was a slot free if I went straight away, which I did,” she added.
It was on the second screening that doctors picked up a tiny lump in Julia’s breast, and the cancer was confirmed with a biopsy.
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She continued: “I went up to the imagining department and they discovered this tiny tiny lump. It had obviously been there several weeks before but it had been missed somehow.
“It was only this second examination and the second pair of eyes that picked up something very very small and within minutes I was lying on my side having a biopsy.
“That’s when I knew I was probably on a different path,” she finished.
However, Julia was keen to carry on with her work during her diagnosis, with her co-stars Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby revealing that she filmed part of her new series for This Morning while she was waiting for her biopsy, and another when she received her diagnosis.
“Yesterday we heard the worrying news that a member of our This Morning family, Julia Bradbury, has been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Phillip began on the show today.
Holly added: “Julia’s life was turned upside down in July when doctors discovered a shadow on her breast tissue during a mammogram.”
“In a true testament to Julia’s professionalism and bravery, she was determined not to let us down,” Phillip said.
“We’ve since learned that she was awaiting results for her first biopsy while filming for our show, a new series which showcases her love for nature.”
After Julia’s segment finished, Phillip went on: “It was while she was filming that that she got her diagnosis.”
Holly added: “As she prepares for her mastectomy next month, everyone here at This Morning sends Julia our best wishes and love.”
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