Entertainment & Arts

Michaela Strachan has double mastectomy

Michaela Strachan
Image caption Strachan wants to encourage women to have regular mammograms

Springwatch presenter Michaela Strachan has revealed she had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Strachan, 48, who hosts the popular BBC Two wildlife show, tweeted: "In Feb I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was lucky, I found it early."

She told the Mail on Sunday's You magazine that doctors advised her to have a double mastectomy.

The presenter added she is to have reconstructive surgery.

Image caption She presents Springwatch with Martin Hughes-Games [L] and Chris Packham

She has also become an ambassador for Breakthrough Breast Cancer to encourage women to have regular mammograms.

Speaking about her diagnosis, she told the Mail: "The tears started to roll as my doctor tried to tell me what would happen next, but I only took in every fifth word or so.

"The one word that registered was 'cancer'.

"How had this happened? I don't have it in the family. I live a fit and healthy life."

She added: "I thought hard about telling my story, because I don't want to be labelled.

"For years I've carried the label 'ex-anorexic'; no doubt that will now change to 'breast cancer patient'. But we all have challenges to face in our lives. We all have curve balls thrown at us."

The presenter stressed how keen she is for women to have regular health checks, saying: 'If I'd put mine off, my story could have been a very different one.

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

Angelina Jolie diagnosis

Strachan has been a presenter since 1986, having started off in children's TV with shows including The Wide Awake Club.

She went on to present music and clubbing show The Hitman and Her with music producer Peter Waterman, before becoming a wildlife presenter on programmes including The Really Wild Show to Michaela's Wild Challenge, Elephant Diaries and Countryfile.

In 2005 she won a best children's presenter Bafta for her show Michaela's Wild Challenge.

She now presents Autumnwatch, Winterwatch and Springwatch with Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games.

Strachan was also in ITV's celebrity diving show Splash! at the beginning of this year.

Last year Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer, after doctors estimated she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer.

In September it was revealed that referrals to breast cancer clinics had more than doubled in the UK since Jolie's announcement.

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