Julia Bradbury has revealed feeling "lost" and "out of control" as she bravely opens up about her experience of having a mastectomy.
The Countryfile presenter, 51, was diagnosed with breast cancer last July after doctors found a 6cm tumour.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday's You magazine about the operation to remove her left breast in October – along with two lymph glands – she admitted struggling for two months to look at the site of the procedure.
The mother-of-three said: "I felt like a piece of meat on a block.
"At that point – and I think this is a moment that every woman who has had a mastectomy will share – I had never felt so lost, so out of control and so deeply sad.
"The shape of me, as I knew it when I looked in the mirror, was never going to be the same again."
Bradbury revealed that while she is in the "moderate risk" category for likelihood of an occurrence, she is determined to take a positive approach.
She explained: "The doctors have not found a huge spread of an aggressive cancer. I have lost my breast but been able to have an implant and keep my own nipple.
"I feel lucky and grateful every single day, and I have to learn to live with this risk, to accept the fragility of life, without it consuming me."
Bradbury shares son Zeph, ten, and twin daughters Zena and Xanthe, seven, with her husband of 20 years, Gerard Cunningham.
She first found a lump in her breast in the summer of 2020 – which was thought to be harmless micro-cysts – but was diagnosed after an ultrasound scan a year later when the lump became increasingly tender.
Doctors informed her that the tumour might be "trouble" to treat, and so in order to save her life they needed to remove her breast.
According to the NHS, most people who have a mastectomy usually recover "well" – and research has found that the operation can significantly reduce the possibility of cancer reoccurrence.
The charity Breast Cancer Now states that some of the most common signs of the condition include a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit, as well as changes to the skin and changes to the nipple.
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