The Countryfile presenter announced that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2021, and underwent a double mastectomy a month later.
And on Friday, Julia Bradbury, 51, wore a bikini for the first time since undergoing the procedure, as she holidayed in Mauritius, and admitted she feels ‘fortunate’ to have had immediate breast reconstruction.
The TV personality took to Instagram where she shared a gorgeous shot of herself in a blue bikini and beach cover-up in matching print, while relaxing in the sunshine.
Back in a bikini! On Friday, Julia Bradbury, 51, wore a bikini for the first time since undergoing a double mastectomy in October, as she holidayed in Mauritius
Julia penned: ‘I had no idea what life after a #mastectomy would be like. I feel incredibly grateful that some things have gone my way during my #breastcancer diagnosis. Each of our stories is different…
‘I was fortunate to be able to have immediate recon after my breast was removed containing a 6cm tumour.
‘Nothing prepares you for the shock & impact…& yet but here I am in a bikini again. Didn’t think this would happen.
‘Wearing wraps helps too. Of course it’s @melissaodabash!! Thanks @gaylerinkoff for finding me new. #gratitude #breastcancer #recovery #bikini #mauritius.’
Grateful: The TV personality wrote alongside the photograph, that she feels ‘fortunate’ to have had immediate breast reconstruction
Battle: The Countryfile presenter announced that she been diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2021 and underwent a double mastectomy a month later
Her holiday snap comes after Julia revealed that the risk of her cancer is returning is higher than average and detailed her experience learning to love her body after a mastectomy in a candid chat.
Six months after undergoing her surgery, the presenter is now having to come to terms with the knowledge that she does not yet have the ‘all clear’ from doctors.
Julia revealed to You magazine that she has ‘micro-invasions’ – tiny fragments of cancerous cells which have leached out of her milk duct and into her breast tissue.
Furthermore, genetic testing has shown that she has a higher than average risk of her cancer coming back.
Candid: Julia recently revealed that the risk of her cancer is returning is higher than average and detailed her experience learning to love her body after a mastectomy
Heartbreaking: It comes after Julia released a video of herself in tears after being told she would need to undergo a mastectomy last year
She explained: ‘I’m in the top five or six per cent of women in the country in terms of the likelihood of recurrence.
‘That puts me in the ‘moderate risk’ category – higher than the average woman – but, look, it’s about percentages and perspectives.
‘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.’
Diagnosis: The TV presenter, best known for her ITV walking shows and fronting BBC One’s Countryfile, was diagnosed with a 6cm tumour in her left breast last July
Julia also spoke about her struggle to look at her body after surgery, revealing it took weeks before she felt able to examine her breasts.
She explained: ‘I didn’t want to see myself so horribly damaged, bruised and battered.’
Two months after the surgery and with her mother’s reassurance Julia could be coaxed into examining herself and agreed to do it on film for her upcoming documentary.
‘It was always a career no, getting my breasts out on television, but here I go. I looked at it in the bedroom in my wardrobe mirror and – I don’t want to upset my surgeon, because he has done a brilliant job – it looked like a Plasticine boob.
‘That was eight weeks post-mastectomy. Several weeks later, my mum looked again and said ‘Jules, it is beautiful,’ and I realised how far I had come.’
Caring: Julia is seen with her children, twins Zena and Xanthe, seven, and son Zeph, ten
The presenter has shared her journey with fans in Julia Bradbury: Breast Cancer and Me, which will air later this month.
It comes after she released a video of herself in tears after being told she would need to undergo a mastectomy last year.
Covering her face with her hands while trembling in the candid footage, she began to say, ‘I’ve…’ before releasing a sigh of breath and staring at the floor.
In her caption, the Countryfile host penned: ‘This is the moment I found out I needed a mastectomy. Utter shock, sadness & fear.’
‘I’ve made a documentary for about my #breastcancer experience to spread awareness, not just about cancer but the impact a diagnosis has on a person & their family & friends #cancer #treatment.’
- Julia Bradbury: Breast Cancer and Me will air on 28 April at 9pm on ITV and the ITV Hub
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