DEIDRE Sanders told how she discovered she had an aggressive form of breast cancer almost by accident as she urged women over 70 to request a mammogram.
TheSun’s beloved agony aunt, 77, appeared on This Morning today ahead of her surgey on Saturday to remove a tiny carcinoma, a cluster of malignant cells in a duct her right breast.
It is classified as high-grade cancer that would grow and spread aggressively had it not been discovered so early.
She started by telling presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about her symptoms before she had a mammogram at the breast clinic at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Sge said: "I was just achy. I’m really glad I was actually, because that made me check.
"I phoned my GP, they were very efficient, they saw me that day, and checked me over. They said there may be something there."
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She continued: "I was then put on the two week cancer pathway that meant I got an appointment.
"I was referred for a mammogram, that happened within something like ten days, and then I went on holiday."
"They found calcification – something I had never heard of before – and said if it is in a cluster, that can be a sign of trouble."
She also explained how she made a "big mistake" thinking she didn't need a mammogram over the age of 70, and revealed she was one of several thousand women who, by error, did not get invited for a mammogram when they turned 70.
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She continued: "You can have a mammogram every three years and it's so worthwhile.
"I am so glad I caught it really early. And I suppose that what I want to say to other people is, I had that mammogram because of an incidental ache that had nothing to do, probably, with the (cancer).
"Your automatic call for mammograms stops when you’re 70. I got a letter a few years ago saying you can ask for one if you want to, I thought, 'Oh I won’t need that'.
"What I want to say to women over 70 is you have got a right to request a mammogram, so bloody well request it! You have a right to one every three years."
When asked by mother-of-three Holly how she felt when she received her diagnosis, Deidre replied: "I think I feel really, really fortunate that it's been caught early. And I feel lucky that it's just a lumpectomy."
She added: "I really wanted to (speak out) because I think people panic at the word cancer, and they’re terrified of getting a diagnosis even though that can lead to treatment."
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Viewers praised the telly favourite for remaining positive and sharing her devastating news to make sure other women get checked.
One tweeted: "Best wishes Deidre, you’re so positive, hope all goes well, kick the cancer! Lots of love"
Another said: "Oh no Deidre has breast cancer yet she’s continued to work all the way through. Lots of love to her"
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