Julia Bradbury has opened up about life post breast cancer surgery, joking she now has a "pneumatic boob".
The Countryfile presenter was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2021 and has detailed her tough treatment to fans along the way – which has included a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
She also appeared in a documentary earlier this year, Julia Bradbury: Breast Cancer and Me, where she detailed her emotional cancer journey.
Now six months on from the end of her treatment, which included the removal of the 6cm tumour, two lymph glands and her left breast, the TV presenter has opened up about how she feels post-surgery and what it's like living with a "pneumatic boob".
"My whole mantra for life has become 'be grateful for what you do have, not what you don't have," she told woman&home magazine in a cover interview for the September issue (on sale 28 July).
"I have a breast, I have my nipple, but I don't have sensation and because I'm naturally slim, I have what I call the mozzarella-cheese effect around, as my friend Ben Shephard and I call it, my pneumatic boob.
"Because my skin is very thin, you can really see the silicone implant beneath and it will be that way unless I have another procedure to inject fat from somewhere else. I don't want to do that."
She went on to say if she did have the procedure, it would "purely be for aesthetics".
"I suppose age has something to do with it," she adds. "In your 50s and 60s, femininity is still part of your identity, but it's not the be-all and end-all."
Following on from her treatment, Bradbury is looking to the future and has made some changes to her lifestyle.
"I’m a positive person, and I’m trying to use my resilience and health to make a positive impact on my body," she explained.
"People talk about the bad luck of cancer. Well, I want to increase my odds. I was considered healthy, but I was eating way too much refined sugar every day which is toxic and disrupts the hormone balance. Too much of anything can be bad – it’s all about balance."
The star went on to reveal to woman&home that her "biggest motivation is staying alive for my children", which has resulted in her making some changes to her diet and alcohol intake.
"Historically, I haven't been kind to my body or my gut," she explained. "I had a reputation for drinking everybody else under the table.
"But right now, I don't feel comfortable drinking alcohol because if I drink one unit of alcohol a day, my risk of recurrence is between 5 and 6% across my lifetime. With four units a day, it goes up to 28%."
Watch: Julia Bradbury returns to work on This Morning four months after double mastectomy
Elsewhere in the interview, the presenter discussed the impact her cancer diagnosis has had on her family.
Bradbury is mum to son, Zephyr, 11, and seven-year-old twin girls, Xanthe and Zena with her partner, Gerard Cunningham, and explained that she has had to have some pretty tricky discussions with her children, including navigating a conversation when one of her kids asked if she was "contagious".
Despite worrying about the effect the illness has had on her family, Bradbury is determined to appreciate the moments with "my little dream squad", adding that she loves "that feeling of family".
Bradbury has been open and honest in sharing the defining moments of her cancer journey.
Earlier this year she shared her first photo in a bikini since having breast cancer surgery, saying that she "didn't think this would happen".
Sharing a photo of herself sitting on a beach in a bikini on Instagram, she wrote: "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."
Bradbury has previously told how she nearly missed the follow-up appointment that spotted the tumour as she had not suffered any symptoms, but was encouraged to go to it by her sister.
Talking about her cancer diagnosis and mastectomy in a previous interview, she said: "I have to hope I have caught mine early enough.
"A mastectomy is a shattering thing to go through but it means that I am going to live and be here for my children."
According to Breast Cancer UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK population, representing 15% of all new cancer cases.
There are around 56,000 new cases of breast cancer every year: that’s over 150 cases every day.
Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.
About one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There's a good chance of recovery if it's detected at an early stage.
Despite the statistics, a large number of women admit to not checking their breasts regularly for changes.
One study by Bupa and HCA Healthcare UK revealed that one in four women admit they have never examined their breasts or can’t remember the last time they did.
Signs and symptoms to look out for include:
· Lump in the breast
· Swelling or lump in the armpit
· Nipple discharge
· Nipple changes – inversion of the nipple, rash or skin changes around the nipple
· A change in the size or shape of the breast – a key observation is new asymmetry between the breasts
· Dimpling of the skin or thickening in the breast tissue
· “Peau d’orange” – describes characteristic skin changes which are seen in the skin overlying a breast cancer. The skin has an orange peel-like appearance, hence the name.
If you notice any of these, you need to speak urgently to your GP.
Breast Cancer UK estimates that around 30% of breast cancer cases in the UK can be prevented by making lifestyle changes including to your diet and levels of exercise.
"Everyone is born with a degree of susceptibility to breast cancer," the site explains. "But the choices you make in your daily life can influence your level of risk.
"From the things you eat to the chemicals you expose yourself to, all of these can help determine whether you’re at higher or lower risk of the disease."
The good news is you have a certain amount of control over these factors.
"Make yourself aware of ways in which you are at increased risk and try to modify your lifestyle and behaviour accordingly," the site adds.
For more information about breast cancer prevention see the Breast Cancer UK Prevention Hub
The September issue of woman&home is on sale Thursday 28 July 2022.