Julia Bradbury has discussed how her breast tumor was missed on two mammograms before her cancer diagnosis.
The TV host, 53, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a slideshow of videos of herself getting mammograms as she details her diagnosis issues.
She said she has dense breast tissue, which means cancerous tumors are harder to see on a mammogram, causing hers to be missed during two scans.
Dense breast tissue, calcifications and tumors all appear as white areas on the mammogram, making it more difficult to distinguish between the two.
Women with dense breast tissue may also be at higher risk of developing breast cancer, as there are more cells that can become cancerous, according to the NHS.
Struggle: Julia Bradbury has discussed how her breast tumor was missed on two mammograms before her cancer diagnosis
Julia shared a photo of her own mammogram to show the problem doctors were dealing with, and talked about how it took a year for her to be diagnosed with cancer.
The TV star was eventually diagnosed with the disease in September 2021 before undergoing a mastectomy to have her 6cm tumor removed.
Julia shared photos of the scan and of herself getting a mammogram, writing: ‘Women with dense breast tissue may be at greater risk of developing breast cancer because there are more cells that can become cancerous.
‘I have dense breasts. What does that mean? It means that cancerous tumors are harder to see on a mammogram.
‘One doctor described it as looking for a snowflake in a snowstorm. My tumor was missed twice when I went for a mammogram to examine a lump I could feel in my left breast.
‘It took an ultrasound and a whole year before my diagnosis was finally confirmed. On #WorldDenseBreastDay, let’s raise awareness about the challenges of dense breasts and emphasize the importance of seeking additional screenings.
“Discover medical educational resources and know your options. Follow or search #WorldDenseBreastDay for more information.
‘What are dense breasts? Dense breasts: where a greater proportion of the breasts consists of glandular and fibrous tissue than fatty tissue.
‘Spread the word and stay informed x.’
Scans: The TV host, 53, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a slideshow of videos of herself getting mammograms as she details her diagnosis issues
Diagnosis: She said she has dense breast tissue, which appears as white as a tumor on a mammogram, meaning her cancer was harder to diagnose
Long process: Julia, who recently had her 6cm tumor removed, how it took a year for her to be diagnosed with cancer as she spread awareness about the problem amid her own battle with cancer
It comes after Julia revealed she sleeps with her mouth taped shut every night to help herself breathe through her nose.
The presenter, 53, candidly described her nightly ritual that she practices religiously every night to improve her sleep habits amid her battle with breast cancer.
Julia told BBC Radio Wales: ‘We all breathe too fast and tend to breathe through our mouths, and that is not good for our health.
‘The best thing you can do for your health is learn how to breathe through your nose. Some people will say, ‘I can’t breathe through my nose, it’s clogged.’
‘There is a nose blocking exercise that will help you with this. The more you sleep, breathing through your nose, the better you will become at it.
‘I sleep with a tape, a small thin tape, over my mouth at night to encourage me to breathe through my nose at night.
‘It’s just a little piece of tape that goes from under my nose to under my bottom lip. And it just means it helps my nasal breathing during the night.”
Routine: It comes after Julia revealed she sleeps with her mouth taped shut every night to allow herself to breathe through her nose
Julia, who wrote a book called Walk Yourself Happy after overcoming her cancer diagnosis, added that you can exercise during the day if you get nervous.
She continued, “Put on some tape while you’re at your laptop and see how you feel.”
Health experts claim that exhaling through the nose filters dust particles, allergens and pollen and warms and humidifies the air, making it easier on your lungs and improving oxygen circulation throughout the body.
Mouth breathing is associated with allergic reactions, asthma, tooth decay, gingivitis, sleep apnea and tooth or jaw abnormalities.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, affecting more than two MILLION women every year
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world. There are more than 55,000 new cases in Britain every year, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US it affects 266,000 people and kills 40,000 every year. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
It comes from a cancer cell that develops in the lining of a duct or lobe in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread to surrounding tissue, it is called ‘invasive’. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown outside the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in people over the age of 50, but sometimes younger women are also affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, although this is rare.
Staging indicates 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 cancer cells are classified from low, which means slow growth, to high, which means fast growth. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they are first treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumor starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or changes certain genes in the cell. This causes the cell to become abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase its likelihood, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most are not cancerous and are fluid-filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. When this happens, a swelling or lump develops in the armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammogram, a special X-ray of the breast tissue that can indicate the possibility of tumors.
- Biopsy: A biopsy involves removing a small piece of tissue from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under a 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 whether the cancer has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound of the liver or an X-ray of the chest.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options that may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. A combination of two or more of these treatments is often used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or removal of the affected breast, depending on the size of the tumor.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment that uses high-energy beams of radiation aimed at cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells or prevents them from multiplying. It is mainly used as an adjunct to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A cancer treatment that uses anti-cancer drugs that kill cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying.
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone estrogen, which can stimulate cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments that lower the levels of these hormones or prevent them from working are often used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is the treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumor at an early stage can then give a good chance of cure.
Thanks to routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70, more cases of early-stage breast cancer are being diagnosed and treated.
For more information, visit breastcancernow.org or call the free helpline on 0808 800 6000