The journalist, 52, answered questions on how she discovered she had cancer and about her mastectomy when quizzed by Jessica Plummer in the camp bathroom.
Sharing personal details about her experience, Victoria revealed how all she could think after finding out was: ‘I’m going to die, I’m not going to see my boys grow up’.
Candid: Victoria Derbyshire spoke very openly about her past breast cancer diagnosis during Saturday’s unseen bits episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Jessica and Victoria had a very honest conversation about the presenter’s cancer diagnosis, which involved several ‘frank and honest’ questions.
The two were in the bathroom and as Jessica pumped water and Victoria showered, the actress asked: ‘So you know you had breast cancer, did you have to have a mastectomy?’
Victoria replied that she had, which surprised Jessica and prompted her to ask if she had private health insurance to cover the treatment.
‘No the NHS. Amazing. NHS are superb. They saved my life. They saved my life, you know,’ Victoria replied.
Questions: The journalist was quizzed over her experience by Jessica Plummer while she was in the shower
Victoria announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer on Twitter in August 2015 and had a mastectomy later that year.
The star also detailed how she reacted to finding out she had cancer, revealing that she could ‘barely speak’ to her husband from the shock.
She said: ‘We could barely speak, you know. We could barely speak to each other. We are talkers, we are open, we are you know, and we just had no words because honestly all I was thinking was I’m going to die.
‘Seriously, I’m going to die. And then, I thought I’m not going to see my boys grow up, I’m not going to grow old with Mark [Sandell], I mean it was just, I just thought my luck’s run out, you know.’
Inquisitive Jessica also asked how Victoria had found out she had cancer.
Emotional: Victoria told Jessica that all she could think after finding out was ‘I’m going to die, I’m not going to see my boys grow up’
Hugs: After discussing her cancer experience, Victoria and Jessica shared an embrace
Victoria told her: ‘So I was going to bed on a Sunday night and getting undressed in the bathroom, I think I’d had a bath, and I just looked in the mirror and my right breast was about two inches lower than my left.’
Jess exclaimed ‘I have a boob lower than my other boob,’ but Victoria told her ‘do not worry. Has it always been like that?’
Jessica explained that it has been for a ‘long time’, with Victoria reassuring her that it’s her ‘normal’.
Victoria continued: ‘I knew that wasn’t how I normally looked. Not only that, the nipple had become inverted so it was as though someone was pulling it backwards, do you know what I mean?
Happy to talk: Victoria said, ‘I am really passionate about talk to people about breast cancer, I’m so open about it’
‘Honestly, I thought, oh, that looks weird, oh, I’ll just sort that tomorrow. I did not think anything. I didn’t.’
‘Oh Victoria’ exclaimed Jessica. ‘I know, and five days later it was confirmed that it was breast cancer’ replied Victoria.
Jessica then probed for a few more details, asking Victoria: ‘Where about on your breast was it?’
She explained: ‘It was all over. It was disparate. It wasn’t a lump. It was like, how would I describe it, if you had loads of string all messed up it was like that, sort of long bits, it was all over the place.
‘It wasn’t a solid lump which is why you need all that chemo and then targeted radiotherapy.’
‘And that’s why you didn’t feel it before?’, asked Jessica.
‘Yeah, exactly because there’s not a lump but it’s so important because most women think you’re looking for a lump, actually you’re not, you’re looking for your.. ‘
‘Change?’ asked Jess. ‘Exactly’ said Victoria. ‘Your breasts look different to how they normally look. Do you know what I mean.’
‘But it you get it early, it’s totally doable. You will survive,’ Victoria added.
At the end of the chat Victoria said: ‘Thank you for doing that Jess. Thank you for asking very sensitive questions.’
Perhaps worrying that she’d done something wrong, Jessica apologised, but Victoria reassured her that all was well and said: ‘Do not say sorry. I ask questions for a living’.
Reflecting on the candid chat after, Victoria explained: ‘Jess was pumping the water for me in the shower and she just started asking me lots of really frank and open questions about my breast cancer diagnosis.’
Support: Victoria also showed her support for Giovanna Fletcher during the show, giving her a hug when speaking about missing her three sons
‘I am really passionate about talk to people about breast cancer, I’m so open about it, even though it was recounting some painful times. I loved having a young woman asking me about it, someone who’s, gone through it so I could just tell her the facts.’
Jess said: ‘I’ve never had that conversation before in my life with anyone. It’s an honour to feel like she could be that open with me,
‘Victoria is an incredible strong woman. I feel like I’ve learned so much just from that conversation. So much that I’m going to make sure I tell my daughter.’
Victoria also discussed her past cancer battle during a camp chat about their happiest moments.
She said: ‘Two years ago having got through cancer treatment, with Oliver on one side age 14, and Joe on the other side, age 11, holding their hands and they walked me up the aisle and there was Mark at the top of it. That’s my happiest moment.’
Victoria added in the Telegraph: ‘I’d come through cancer treatment and it was such a big moment for our family. It was like we’re here, we’re alive, we’re in love. It was amazing.’
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men though this is rare.
Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast growing. High grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under the microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.
If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.
The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk, breastcancernow.org or www.cancerhelp.org.uk