Newsreader developed breast cancer after radiotherapy 20 years earlier

truther July 9, 2013 0

A Channel Four newsreader had to have a double mastectomy after the radiotherapy she had to treat her cancer as a teenager gave her breast cancer more than 20 years later.

Newsreader developed breast cancer after radiotherapy 20 years earlier

And because of the amount of radiotherapy she had previously received, having the lump from her breast removed and radiotherapy wasn’t an option for Bridgid Nzekwu.

Instead she was told she would have to have her left breast removed, and decided to have a double mastectomy to reduce any chance of the cancer spreading.

The 42-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in 1998 at the age of 18 and had to undergo extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy which caused her hair to fall out and her to suffer from shingles, viruses and infections.

She was then diagnosed with breast cancer, which killed her mother at the age of 59, in April last year – more than 20 years later.

The newsreader, who had previously worked as a producer on the Big Breakfast, said after the diagnosis she was then dealt a further blow , and was told:“I can’t have the usual treatment – removal of the lump plus radiotherapy – because I had the maximum allowable dose of radiation in my teens.

“In fact, it’s almost certain the breast cancer I have now is a long-term side effect of that life-saving radiotherapy back in 1988. Instead I must have my left breast removed.”

The mother of one decided on a double mastectomy after she was told she had a higher than average risk of developing cancer in her other breast.

She told the Sunday Times: “This is the lightbulb moment. Not a choice every woman would make, but for me it’s a no-brainer. My right breast is perfectly healthy, but there’s no guarantee it will stay that way. To me it’s a ticking time bomb. I know immediately I want a double mastectomy.”

Mrs Nzekwu transferred herself to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea in London, which has a world leading reputation for oncology. She had the lump removed and then a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction in April this year.

She said her risk of getting cancer in her healthy breast was now down from the average 25 per cent for her age, to two per cent.

Source: The Telegraph

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