RTE’s Teresa Mannion has spoken about her own battle with breast cancer and said she “dodged a bullet” after her tumour was discovered during a routine mammogram.
The broadcaster’s Western Correspondent opened up about her 2013 cancer diagnosis in the latest edition of The RTE Guide.
Mannion, who is mum to Cian (18) and Tom (17), admitted she ignored the letter from Breastcheck offering her a free mammogram for months and urged other women not to make the same mistake.
“I just ignored it until someone said to me that they were getting a mammogram and I was overwhelmed with guilt,” she said.
During the mammogram, Teresa’s radiologist discovered a small tumour and after a number of MRIs and biopsies, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
“I didn’t even know there were different kinds of breast cancer and now I was diagnosed with the worst kind. I will never forget the words of the breast surgeon, Professor Michael Kerin, who broke the news to me,” she said.
“He said: ‘You have a guardian angel’ and those words stayed with me through the subsequent months.”
Mannion revealed that the worst aspect of cancer was losing her hair, after four bouts of chemotherapy to treat the cancer following a lumpectomy.
“I had heard all the horror stories about chemotherapy but all I could think of was hair loss,” she said.
“I know it’s weird but losing my hair was the worst thing because you really identify with it. My hair had started to fall out in clumps so that you feel like this shaggy dog with hair everywhere, on the sofa.”
The journalist revealed that the experience has made her value the little things in life and has made her feel very lucky.
“Sure I dodged a bullet. If it even gets one person to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a mammogram, then it will be good,” she said.