Carol McGiffin has breast cancer
Carol McGiffin has revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and after several bouts of exhaustive treatment is now hopeful about her future.
Carol McGiffin has breast cancer.
The former 'Loose Women' panellist discovered a lump on her left breast a year ago and was diagnosed with cancer in April, leading to a mastectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy, but has kept the illness a secret until now because she didn't want people's sympathy.
She explained: "Part of my reason for keeping it quiet until now has been due to other people's reactions. Some friends haven't been able to deal with my news and got really upset. I then feel really guilty.
"I don't want to pretend any more. I kept it a secret because I didn't want anyone feeling sorry for me.
"I feel it is over now and I've got through it. I just want to be able to go out without my hat on and for people not to be bothered. I just want life to get back to normal."
Despite undergoing exhaustive treatment for the illness, the 54-year-old broadcaster has remained optimistic throughout.
She said: "There weren't any tears. Cancer is not the death sentence it used to be if it's caught early because there is loads of good research. You just have to get on with what life throws at you."
However, the 'Celebrity Big Brother' contestant admitted the hardest part of the disease has been her changing appearance with her trademark blonde bob falling out due to the treatment she has been receiving.
She said: "What really did it for me was losing my eyelashes and eyebrows around two months into the chemo. I felt like I couldn't go out because people would stare and then notice I was ill.
"When you've got a giant scar, no hair, no eyebrows and no eyelashes it is pretty shocking. I took a few selfies but I deleted them. I don't think I need to be reminded of what I looked like. Thankfully my hair is starting to grow back now, but it is not long enough yet."
Nevertheless, Carol and fiancée Mark Cassidy are now hopeful she has defeated the illness for good.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror newspaper, she added: "Fingers crossed the treatment has seen off the cancer. My next appointment is a follow-up with the oncologist in April and in July I'm back at the breast clinic. And then it is check-ups every six months. If it hasn't come back in five years I'll get the all clear.
"So for now normal service is resumed. If it comes back I'll deal with it. It's not a battle. I just see it as a bit of a health hiccup."