As TV star Malandra Burrows shares breast cancer battle – the 7 signs to know

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EMMERDALE’S Malandra Burrows has revealed she is battling breast cancer, and urged all women to make sure they have their check ups.

The TV star was diagnosed in February with the disease at stage 3.

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Malandra Burrows has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancerCredit: Getty
The former Emmerdale star said she had found a lump in January

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The former Emmerdale star said she had found a lump in JanuaryCredit: Reuters

She had found a lump in January, but was told it was just a cyst by the first doctor she saw.

But a follow up scan and ultrasound led to experts calling her in for an urgent appointment.

She told OK! magazine a Macmillan nurse met with her to deliver the bad news.

Malandra, 56, said: “I’ve kind of gone into combat mode. If I look back, I’ve given it everything I can and that’s all I can do. I hate to say it, but when it’s your life at stake you’re prepared to do everything to get through. That’s helped me focus.

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“It’s just day by day. I might have a good day, then five bad days, I just have to take them as they come.

“You’ve got to make nice moments, they become so precious. Even though they might be so simple, when you’ve got cancer, they become wonderful, momentous ones.”

The actress, who played Kathy Bates in the ITV drama until 2002, is set to start six months of chemo to treat the cancer.

She revealed how she suspects it might have been found earlier, if a routine mammogram appointment hadn’t been cancelled in 2020 due to Covid.

Malandra added: “Since my diagnosis I tell all ladies to please go and get a mammogram.”

Almost 56,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year, and 11,500 die.

Around 1,500 of these are in women under the age of 40, statistics from Cancer Research shows.

Women first get invited to a mammogram between the age of 50 and 53, and every three years following until the age of 71.

Anyone with symptoms of the disease, including a lump or change in the breasts or nipples, should see their GP straight away.

1. Change in breast size or shape

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes – and can look and feel different throughout a woman’s life.

They can change depending on pregnancy, menstrual cycle or just as you age.

By checking your breasts regularly you get to know what is normal for you, and when a change is new.

2. Redness or a rash

It is important to look out for signs of reddening or a rash, on the skin and around the nipple.

A rash in this area could just be triggered by new washing powder, or a lacy bra irritating the skin.

However if it is not going and you can’t pin down any certain reason, get it checked out.

3. Nipple discharge

If liquid comes from the nipple without squeezing it, it is important to get it checked by a doctor.

Always remember, if it is not normal for you, go and speak to your GP about any concerns.

4. Swelling in the armpit or around the collarbone

Lumps are the most common sign of breast cancer.

But, they don’t always appear in the breast.

Breast tissue can also be found under the armpits and up to the collarbone.

So if there is unusual swelling there, it could be to do with the breast tissue.

5. Change in skin texture

From puckering to the slightest hint of a dimple – changes in the skin’s appearance on your breasts can be a sign of cancer.

For example, if it looks and feels like the peel of an orange, go and check it out with your GP.

6. An inverted nipple

Some people naturally have inverted nipples – which is absolutely fine.

But if you had not noticed that before, and suddenly there is a change in your nipples, this could be a warning sign.

7. Constant pain

A dull ache that won’t go away in the breast or armpit, is a warning sign for breast cancer.

However, it can be difficult to identify as pain in the breast area is common.

A badly fitting bra or hormones are among possible reasons – but if the pain doesn’t go for a reasonable amount of time tell your doctor.

She has urged women to make sure they go for their mammograms

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She has urged women to make sure they go for their mammogramsCredit: Rex

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