Michaela Strachan reveals breast cancer battle and double mastectomy: 'My story could have been a very different one'

The Springwatch host underwent surgery to treat the disease early this year

Click to follow
The Independent Online

TV presenter Michaela Strachan has undergone a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Springwatch host, 48, was advised to have both her breasts removed after the disease showed up on a mammogram early this year.

Strachan revealed that "the tears started to roll" as her doctor tried to explain what would happen next.

"I only took in every fifth word or so," she told the Mail on Sunday's You magazine. "The one word that registered was 'cancer'."

"I didn't think I felt too emotional about losing (my breasts)," she said. "But knowing I would in the next few days, I found myself wearing tight top and celebrating them. As Joni Mitchell sang, 'Don't it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you've got till it's gone'."

Strachan, who is soon to have reconstructive surgery, shared the overwhelming feelings she experienced during her diagnosis.

"I couldn't get my head around the fact that on Monday morning I'd been apparently healthy, by Tuesday I had cancer and by Wednesday I was talking about a double mastectomy," she said, adding that she does not regret her decision to have the surgery and encouraging women to attend regular breast check-ups.

"If I'd put mine off, my story could have been a very different one," said Strachan, who lives with her partner, his three grown-up children and their nine-year-old son Ollie.

"As it is, I've had a tough year and an emotional journey, but I'm not fighting for my life."

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie sent a similar message to her fans last year when she also underwent a double mastectomy.

Jolie, however, had not been diagnosed with breast cancer, but was taking a precautionary measure after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation that increases the risk of developing breast cancer by 87 per cent. Her mother and aunt had died of breast cancer.

Her announcement in May 2013 resulted in a doubling in NHS referrals for genetic tests of breast cancer risk, dubbed the "Angelina Jolie effect".