Breast cancer: Dr Chris on 'breakthrough' Enhertu drug
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The 63-year-old opened up about her breast cancer diagnosis when appearing on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories earlier this year. As well as this, Trisha has used her experience to urge other women to get themselves checked and explained the signs to look out for which could indicate someone has breast cancer. It was after a routine mammogram where Trisha knew that something was not right. Quizzing the man who carried out the ultrasound, the star said that she found out it was breast cancer “with a laugh and a cry at the same time”.
“I remember the guy doing an ultrasound and I said to him, ‘so have I got cancer yes or no??’” Trisha explained to Piers Morgan.
“He said I’ll send the results to your surgeon. And I said, tell me now. And he said, no, I’ll send the results to your surgeon.
“And I said, how long have you been doing this for? He said, Nineteen years. I said, so you know breast cancer when you see it. He said, yes. I said, right, I promise you I won’t sue you, but tell me now, do I have breast cancer, tell me now, here.
“And he said yes and I went [whimpers].”
The diagnosis changed life for Trisha who went on to explain her “brutal experience” with the side effects of seven months of chemotherapy and a whole year of radiotherapy.
“Apparently I really reacted badly. I had an ulcerated nose. Mouth,” Trisha explained.
“I already had early onset glaucoma – a condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged – before my chemo, but the chemotherapy precipitated an eye infection that was very severe and further damaged my eyes. My eyes took a beating.”
As well as thinking she was going “totally blind,” Trisha went on to explain that she has lost a “fair amount” of feeling in her left arm, due to the removal of her lymph nodes. This has led her to carry pressure sleeves in her handbag, and antiseptic pads everywhere because if not, she “could be in trouble”.
During her second round of chemotherapy, Trisha shockingly experienced menopause in “48 hours”.
Normally women take around three to four years to go through menopause, but as a result of the drugs she was taking, Trisha was “thrown at the wall,” experiencing symptoms across two days.
The star said: “I got ulcers everywhere – my bum, my teeth. I developed very severe thrush all down my oesophagus and I couldn’t brush my teeth.”
The NHS explains that the first symptom of breast cancer for most women is a lump or area of thickened tissue in their breast.
Other symptoms or changes in the body, that can indicate breast cancer include the following:
- A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples
- A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- A rash on or around your nipple
- A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.
However, wider symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, weight loss and fatigue can also be signposts of the deadly disease.
In most recent times, individuals often ignore symptoms similar to those above as they attribute it more to Covid.
The Lancet Oncology experts commented in an article for The Sun: “It is likely that patients with well recognised ‘red flag’ symptoms such as a new lump or rectal bleeding will continue to present to primary care.
“However, with Covid at the forefront, vague cancer symptoms such as fatigue, change in bowel habit and weight loss may be dismissed by the patient as trivial. Respiratory symptoms including persistent cough may be attributed to COVID-19 and not acted on.”
For Trisha, the notion of people ignoring cancer symptoms “scares the c***” out of her and she encourages people to still check out their symptoms if they become concerned.
She added: “To put it bluntly if I had ignored my cancer I wouldn’t be here. If I had waited, well I don’t want to go there. You aren’t a burden if you go to the doctor with symptoms – it’s like my mum used to say: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.
“People missing mammograms and smears horrifies me. I would drag my girls to the doctor to get a smear. I love life and was desperate to see my girls, Billie, 31, and Madison Grieve, 26, grow up – so people must continue to shout about their concerns and go for routine tests like smears and mammograms.”
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