Loose Women: Dr Heaversedge explains breast cancer symptoms

The evolution of Kay Burley’s journalistic career largely coincided with the rise of Sky News. Kay started working for the fledgling Sky News platform in 1988 and would go on to cover events that have shaped the world, such as the September 11 attacks. Throughout her ascendancy, fears of developing breast cancer have lingered in the background.



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    The Sky presenter lost three close girlfriends, her grandmother, aunt and mother to breast cancer.

    Her familial connection to the cancer has meant her chances of being diagnosed with the condition herself is high.

    Kay and her sister have both been tested for the gene mutation associated with breast cancer, but while neither of them was tested positive, they were told they have an 80 percent chance of developing the disease.

    Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, she said: “Once I knew about the high odds of developing cancer, I considered a double mastectomy.

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    Sky presenter has a familial risk of developing breast cancer

    Kay Burley health: Sky presenter has a familial risk of developing breast cancer (Image: Getty Images)

    “But after various consultations, I have chosen watchful waiting instead.”

    Kay has made conscious efforts to keep her risk of developing breast cancer at bay by leading a healthy lifestyle.

    The Sky News host said she steers clear of cigarettes and keeps physically fit to mitigate the risk.

    While she admitted she is still partial to alcohol, she doesn’t allow herself to put on weight.

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    Kay admitted that several scares over the years have meant her fear persists.

    “It never gets easier. The fear of ‘Is it happening this time?’ still takes hold, until the doctor reassures me,” she said.

    Breast cancer – what is it and what should I be looking for?

    Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.

    According to the NHS, the first symptom of breast cancer that most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast.

    Being overweight or obese is a risk factor

    Breast cancer risk: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor (Image: Getty Images)


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    “Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor,” explains the health body.

    According to the health site, you should see a GP if you notice any of the following:

    • A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
    • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
    • A discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
    • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
    • Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
    • A rash on or around your nipple
    • A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

    “Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer,” it adds.

    Am I at risk?

    The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, making it difficult to say why one woman may develop breast cancer and another may not.

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    Lump or an area of thickened tissue is usually the first sign

    Breast cancer symptoms: Lump or an area of thickened tissue is usually the first sign (Image: Getty Images)

    However, there are risk factors known to affect your likelihood of developing breast cancer.

    Having one or more of the following risk factors doesn’t mean that you will definitely get breast cancer.

    According to Cancer Research UK, some people have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general population because other members of their family have had particular cancers.

    Other risk factors include:

    • Being overweight or obese
    • Alcohol
    • Contraceptive pill
    • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
    • Being inactive.

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