Photographer Harriet Brocket has spoken exclusively to ! about her decision to have a double mastectomy at the age of 38.
Harriet, who is married to television personality, writer and businessman Lord Brocket, discovered she had breast cancer in February. She has told her story to encourage women to check themselves regularly, particularly if they have a family history of cancer.
PHOTO TO ENLARGE
“I feel very lucky to have had an early diagnosis and to have been able to make the right choice to give me the best chance of staying alive for my children,” the mother-of-two tells !.
Lady Brocket was fortunate to have discovered her cancer early enough for it to be treatable. To prevent the cancer spreading she opted for a double mastectomy earlier this year within a week of diagnosis and underwent a seven-hour operation to remove her breasts and insert implants. “The only thing that matters is to be around for my little ones”, she tells !.
She was back home after five days and able to spend time with her daughters Amelia, three, and one-year-old Iona. “Of course your life flashes before your eyes when you hear you have cancer. But you can’t think about the what-ifs because you torture yourself,” she says.
Harriet is keen to encourage women to opt for radical surgery if necessary as it gives them a greater chance of survival.
“It”s a very brave decision to have your breasts removed, but it”s not the end of the world which it could be if you don”t have them checked out,” she tells ! “My strong message is please go and get checked, and do it regularly, it might save your life.”
Read the full story in this week’s !, issue 1280, out now.