Carol Klein: Gardeners' World star diagnosed with breast cancer - age, symptoms and return to TV explained

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Carol Klein said she would be back on Gardeners’ World “very soon”.

BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Carol Klein has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The TV star explained she has had a double mastectomy, and said she would be back on our screens soon. Klein revealed the diagnosis in an Instagram post, where she paid tribute to the NHS doctors and said she wanted to raise breast cancer awareness.

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She said: "A few weeks ago, I was referred to the breast care clinic at my local hospital and after tests I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having consulted with my family and all the doctors, it was decided that I'd have a double mastectomy and that was carried out on 3 April.

"Since then I've been recovering at home and recuperating. I've sown any amount of seeds, and I've been finessing my upcoming book, so it's given me lots of opportunity to do that.

"Well I just want to thank Dr Anna Conway and all the staff of the breast care clinic at North Devon District Hospital for their care and kindness and also their incredible efficiency. They've been brilliant, a real tribute to the NHS.”

Carol Klein. Credit: CarolKlein/InstagramCarol Klein. Credit: CarolKlein/Instagram
Carol Klein. Credit: CarolKlein/Instagram | CarolKlein/Instagram

When will Carol Klein return to TV?

In her statement, Carol didn’t specify when she would be returning to the BBC, however she said she would back on Gardeners’ World “very soon”. She also explained she would be at the Chelsea Flower Show later this month.

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Carol said: "Well I'm looking forward to seeing you very soon on Gardeners' World and at the Chelsea Flower Show, not to mention the Gardeners' World Live Show in June in Birmingham. Until then, happy gardening and lots of love."

What is Carol Klein’s age?

Carol was born in Walkden, Lancashire, in 1945, and is aged 78. She attended Bolton School but left when she was 15, saying later “I think I was quite close to being chucked out”. She says her love of gardening was inspired by her mother and grandfather, who had an allotment.

What are symptoms of breast cancer?

Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • a change in the size, outline or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
  • a new lump, swelling, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that was not there before
  • a change in the look or feel of the skin on your breast, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
  • a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast or any change in nipple position, such a your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
  • any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it’s a new pain and does not go away (although pain is only a symptom of breast cancer in rare cases)

How should I check my breasts?

It’s vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always have any changes examined by a GP. Every woman’s breasts are different in terms of size, shape and consistency, and it’s also possible for one breast to be larger than the other.

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You should get used to how your breasts feel at different times of the month as this can change during your menstrual cycle. After the menopause, normal breasts feel softer, less firm and not as lumpy.

You should look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit. You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. You should look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.

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