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‘She had a horrific experience!’ Frankie Bridge speaks out on mother’s devastating breast cancer diagnosis and harrowing treatment as she admits it was a wake-up call for herself

Frankie Bridge has spoken out about her mother’s ‘horrific’ breast cancer diagnosis and admitted it was a wake up call for her.

The Saturdays star Frankie, 34, revealed how her mother Viv Sandford was told she had the disease at the start of this year.

The Loose Women star insisted her mother was lucky to have caught the illness early but admitted it gave her shock as she never thought to check herself for any lumps.

She explained to the Mirror: ‘My mum was diagnosed with stage 2, grade 3 breast cancer at the beginning of the year. She caught it early but it was quite aggressive.

‘She shielded me from it a lot, so I don’t think I ever saw her at rock bottom, but I saw the chemotherapy taking its toll at the end.

Frightening: Frankie Bridge, 34, has spoken out about her mother's devastating breast cancer diagnosis, saying: 'She had a horrific experience!' (Frankie pictured last month)

Frightening: Frankie Bridge, 34, has spoken out about her mother’s devastating breast cancer diagnosis, saying: ‘She had a horrific experience!’ (Frankie pictured last month)

Illness: Former The Saturdays singer Frankie said her parent Viv Sandford (left) was told she had the disease at the start of this year (pictured in 2021)

Illness: Former The Saturdays singer Frankie said her parent Viv Sandford (left) was told she had the disease at the start of this year (pictured in 2021)

‘She’s finished treatment now and is coming out of the other side but it’s not over yet, so it’s scary to talk about.’

Frankie said she never checked her breasts because nobody in her family had ever had cancer, but she has now changed her ways. 

She added: ‘My mum’s diagnosis has made me go, ‘Oh God, it could be anyone’. And early diagnosis makes such a big difference.’

It comes after Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The dancer, 32, said she is ‘determined’ to get back onto the dance floor as soon as possible, and is trying to be ‘positive and strong’ amid the diagnosis.

She wrote on her Instagram Stories: ‘Hey all, I’ve got some news which isn’t easy to share. I’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer but I’m determined to get back on that dance floor before you know it. Welsh love Amy (sic).’

Amy has battled chronic gut condition Crohn’s Disease since she was a youngster, and admitted her latest diagnosis is ‘another hurdle’ to overcome.

She told HELLO!: ‘I’ve been through quite a lot in my life and this is another hurdle.

Sad news: It comes after Amy Dowden revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer aged 32 (pictured before her diagnosis)

Sad news: It comes after Amy Dowden revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer aged 32 (pictured before her diagnosis)

Health: The Strictly Come Dancing professional took to her Instagram Stories last month to share her health update, saying she is 'determined' to get back on the dance floor

Health: The Strictly Come Dancing professional took to her Instagram Stories last month to share her health update, saying she is ‘determined’ to get back on the dance floor

‘But if I’m positive and strong, I’ve got a really good chance of getting back out on the dancefloor as soon as possible.

‘With what I’ve done for Crohn’s, I want to do the same here.’

Amy – who married fellow pro dancer Ben Jones last July – ‘didn’t think it was possible’ to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30s.

She added: ‘If I can try and turn this negative into a positive, it’s going to help me get through this.

‘You just don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you.

Dancing: Amy admitted it wasn't easy to share the news as she discussed whether she will be able to rejoin the BBC dance show for its new series later this year (pictured with James Bye)

Dancing: Amy admitted it wasn’t easy to share the news as she discussed whether she will be able to rejoin the BBC dance show for its new series later this year (pictured with James Bye) 

‘I hadn’t thought it was possible to get breast cancer at my age. My mum has had breast cancer, but she had it at a later age, in her 50s.’

Amy decided to check her breasts after she took part in 100km fundraising walk led by Giovanna Fletcher in support of breast health awareness charity CoppaFeel!.

She added: ‘This last year, obviously, I made a conscious effort to check my breasts. CoppaFeel! has now potentially saved my life, because I don’t know how long this lump could have been there before I would have noticed and done something about it.

‘So me speaking out might end up saving some other people’s lives because they start checking their breasts.’

What is breast cancer, how many people does it strike and what are the symptoms?  

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.

When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.

Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, though this is rare.

Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast-growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.

What causes breast cancer?

A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply.

There are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign. 

The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.

For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000 

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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