Sarah Beeny and other celebrities who have shared their breast cancer journey

Sarah Beeny. (Channel 4)
Sarah Beeny vs Cancer airs at 9pm on Channel 4 on Monday 12 June. (Channel 4)

Sarah Beeny has opened up in more detail about her breast cancer journey for a new deeply personal Channel 4 documentary.

The broadcaster, 51, first shared she had breast cancer at the end of August 2022, explaining that she was being treated for the condition after finding a lump. With her initial mammogram not showing anything unusual, but her biopsy going on to confirm it was cancer, Beeny urged women to check their breasts regularly.

Now, starting from her first day of treatment that month, she has filmed what the process has been like for both her and her family – husband Graham Swift and their four children Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Raffey, 14, and Laurie, 12.

The programme features her decision to cut off her hair with the help of her sons, chemotherapy, working after treatment and a double mastectomy. She also learns more about what her mother went through – who sadly died from the disease when she was just 10 – and explores the past, present and future of breast cancer treatment in the UK.

Here we look at some other celebrities who've helped to raise awareness of the condition by sharing their experience, from Anne Diamond to the late Sarah Harding, who sadly lost her life to the disease back in 2021.

Anne Diamond

Anne Diamond. (PA Images)
Anne Diamond has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. (PA Images)

Anne Diamond shared earlier this month that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The broadcaster said she had received the diagnosis the same day as finding out she was to be given an OBE and has undergone a double mastectomy.

In an interview with GB News she described her "fight against breast cancer" – which she said was "a long journey".

"I had the full works, the full mastectomy [and radiotherapy]," she said. "This is the first time I’ve talked about it, so it’s quite difficult but I’ve had the full works. The first operation I had was nine hours long."

Samantha Womack, who has now given an update on her breast cancer journey. (Getty Images)
Samantha Womack first went public with her breast cancer diagnosis after Olivia Newton-John died. (Getty Images)

Samantha Womack

Samantha Womack revealed she was breast cancer-free in December 2022, just five months after her diagnosis, but was having ongoing treatment as a preventative measure.

The actor, best known as Ronnie Mitchell in Eastenders, 50, took some time off work after being given the news. She went on to have a lumpectomy (where the tumour and some surrounding breast tissue is removed), lymph node removal and chemotherapy treatment.

"It was a bit of a rollercoaster... it was quite quick," she told OK! magazine in a video.

"Now I'm just having some treatments while I go back to work as a prevention... We're feeling a lot better than we were."

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John. (Getty Images)
The late Olivia Newton-John lived with cancer for three decades. (Getty Images)

Olivia Newton-John, who died at the age of 73 last August after living with breast cancer for nearly 30 years, made a huge impact for her awareness-raising work.

The British-born, Australia-raised star, was first diagnosed with the disease in 1992, with it returning in her shoulder in 2013 and in her spine in 2017.

The singer and actor, who underwent a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and breast reconstruction, launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation with husband John Easterling to help with cancer research in 2020.

"I don’t think of myself as sick with cancer,” she told The Guardian in 2020. “I choose not to see it as a fight either because I don’t like war."

"I want to get my body healthy and back in balance. Part of that is your mental attitude to it," she added.

Carol McGiffin

Carol McGiffin attends The Best Heroes Awards 2019 at The Bloomsbury Hotel on October 15, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Carol McGiffin also lost her mum and sister to cancer. (Getty images)

Loose Women star Carol McGiffin, 63, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2014. Her treatment, which included a mastectomy and chemotherapy, was successful and she passed the five-year remission milestone in 2019.

Speaking on Yahoo UK's podcast White Wine Question Time with Kate Thornton, she opened up about her experience of cancer, also having lost her mum and sister to the disease.

Julia Bradbury

Julia Bradbury attends Matthew Bourne's
Julia Bradbury found telling her children about her diagnosis the hardest. (Getty Images)

TV presenter Julia Bradbury, 52, shared her breast cancer journey in her documentary Breast Cancer And Me, from diagnosis (announced in 2021) to surgery, including the difficult moment she got her mastectomy.

She said she "found telling people quite hard" because of their reaction and the "sadness in their eyes", but that telling her children was the hardest, with her even considering not telling them at all.

But, she added: "I thought that was an impossibility because of what I do. That’s why I controlled the story – I knew it would come out."

Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding attends the National Television Awards 2018 at The O2 Arena on January 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/FilmMagic)
The late Sarah Harding first shared she had breast cancer in 2020. (Getty Images)

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding died in September 2021 at the age of 39 after suffering from breast cancer.

Harding first announced she had the disease in August 2020 on her Instagram, which had advanced to other parts of her body, and she was undergoing chemotherapy.

In an extract from her memoir Hear Me Out, which was published in The Times in March 2021, she said, “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last.

“I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that. Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now.”

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue attends the first performance of ABBA
Kylie Minogue was misdiagnosed at first. (Getty Images)

Kylie Minogue, 54, said after her doctor missed her breast cancer in 2005, she decided to go back a few weeks later for a second opinion, resulting in her receiving a diagnosis and a lumpectomy to remove the small tumour, as well as chemo.

“I was misdiagnosed initially," she told Ellen Degeneres. "So my message to all of you and everyone at home is, because someone is in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn’t necessarily mean they are right.”

Jennifer Saunders

Jennifer Saunders during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jennifer Saunders' cancer was detected early on. (Getty Images)

Comedian Jennifer Saunders, 63, was diagnosed with the disease at 51.

"The cancer was caught early enough, and I had doctors I trusted,’ she told SAGA magazine. "I just had to make it easy for the doctors to do what they had to do, by doing what they told me and behaving myself."

Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie Smith attends Wimbledon Championships Tennis Tournament at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Dame Maggie Smith filmed Harry Potter while being treated for breast cancer. (Getty Images)

Dame Maggie Smith, now 87, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 74 while filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, continuing despite having chemotherapy. She was given the all clear in 2009.

“I was hairless,” she told The Telegraph. “I had no problem getting the wig on. I was like a boiled egg.”

Some people say you have to fight cancer. But it was fighting me," she explained. “The cure was worse than the disease, and it left me totally exhausted and depressed.”

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne arrives at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party on March 27, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)
Sharon Osbourne has a double mastectomy. (Getty Images)

Sharon Osbourne, 69, underwent a double mastectomy after she discovered she had a gene that increased her chances of having breast cancer.

"As soon as I found out I had the breast cancer gene, I thought, 'The odds are not in my favour,'" she told Hello! magazine in 2012. "I've had cancer before and I didn't want to live under that cloud. I decided to just take everything off, and had a double mastectomy."

Breast cancer support and advice

Watch: Know your body: How to check for signs and symptoms of breast cancer