Julia Bradbury reveals breast cancer was initially missed and took an ‘entire year’ to be diagnosed

Julia Bradbury pictured in 2019  (PA)
Julia Bradbury pictured in 2019 (PA)

Julia Bradbury has shared images from her mammogram in a bid to raise awareness for breast cancer and the increased risks associated with having dense breasts.

The Countryfile presenter has documented her cancer battle on social media after she was diagnosed with the disease in September 2021.

A month later, she underwent surgery to remove a 6cm tumour, two lymph glands and her left breast before having reconstruction surgery in November of that year. The BBC star is now in remission.

In an Instagram post to mark World Dense Breast Day, the 53-year-old revealed how it took “an entire year to finally confirm” her diagnosis due to the composition of her breasts.

Sharing images of herself undergoing a mammogram and the scan, she captioned the post: “I have dense breasts. What does that mean?

The presenter shared a photo of her undergoing a mammogram on Instagram to raise awareness for World Dense Breast Day (Instagram/Julia Bradbury)
The presenter shared a photo of her undergoing a mammogram on Instagram to raise awareness for World Dense Breast Day (Instagram/Julia Bradbury)

“It means cancerous tumours are more difficult to see on a mammogram. One doctor described it as looking for a snowflake in a snowstorm.”

Providing an explanation behind dense breasts, she revealed that it was where a higher proportion of the breasts are made up of glandular tissue and fibrous tissue than fatty tissue.

Describing the issues this had caused her, she shared: “My tumour was missed on two separate occasions when I went for a mammogram to investigate a lump I could feel in my left breast.

“It took an ultrasound and an entire year to finally confirm my diagnosis.”

Bradbury signed off asking her followers to help “raise awareness about the challenges of dense breasts and emphasise the importance of seeking supplementary screenings”.

Earlier this year, the presenter revealed that her diagnosis made her evaluate what’s important in her life, and now she sees things “differently”.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: “I’m grateful for every single day and I do look at life differently, certainly. Obviously when something like a cancer diagnosis comes your way, your whole world becomes about that, how you are going to handle it and the impact on your family, friends and loved ones.

“You don’t think too far into the future [but] about getting through things, day by day.

“I decided very early on that I was going to try and maintain a very positive mindset, and that I would approach it a bit like a TV project, which was to learn everything.”

If you have been affected by this story, advice and support can be found at Breat Cancer Now via their website breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000.