Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

‘This morning I had breast cancer. This evening I don't’ BBC's Victoria Derbyshire thanks NHS after mastectomy


Having been diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of July, BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire has now undergone a mastectomy and has thanked NHS staff, saying, “I feel alright, I can't believe it”.

Derbyshire made a video diary from her hospital bed documenting her treatment and is sharing her personal experience in the hope of proving that cancer can sometimes be “manageable”.

In the video, posted on her Facebook page, she explained she'd discovered having a mastectomy “is totally doable. I didn't know those things until I got cancer. And that's what I want to tell people.

“I know everyone's different when they're diagnosed – every cancer is different, everyone has a different experience, but that's mine and I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you”.


Victoria Derbyshire posted a video diary following her cancer treatment

First holding up a sign reading, “Hi, this morning I had breast cancer”, the presenter then reveals another reading, “This evening I don't”, and thanked the “awesome” hospital staff treating her: “I am completely in awe of them. They are so inspiring and so caring and I feel so grateful to them.”

Derbyshire, 47, was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer, which is when cancer starts in the lobes and has spread to surrounding tissue. She underwent the mastectomy on 24 September in a Surrey hospital, and will have radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the next few months.

She explains that she hopes being open about her treatment will take some of the perceived power away from the disease.

“The word cancer has such a chilling effect on people, me included, but I've learned over the past few weeks that this illness doesn't have to be elevated to some uber-powerful status,” she said. “It's simply an illness that the NHS treat with expertise and care [...]

“Everyone who's diagnosed with cancer, I've learned, has a different story, a different experience and a different way of approaching it. I, for what it's worth, don't feel like I'm battling cancer, I don't feel that I'm fighting cancer, I am simply being treated for cancer.”


“I don't feel that I'm fighting cancer, I am simply being treated for cancer”

On painkillers following the procedure, Derbyshire described the “slightly frustrating” after effects, but insisted, “It's not the end of the world, it's really not.”

“It feels like someone has punched me in the right-hand side [...] I couldn't lift a book, or a laptop, I can't hold a shower head to wash my hair or use my right hand to brush my teeth.”

She added: “I feel really positive, I've got no reason not to feel positive. My overriding emotion is that I have to make sure that this cancer doesn't come back.”

Watch the video below.

Victoria Derbyshire's cancer diary

"I don't feel like I'm 'fighting' cancer, I'm simply being treated for cancer." Watch Victoria's video diary following her treatment bit.ly/1Lqgxpt. Read more here: bbc.in/1JX2Skr

Posted by Victoria Derbyshire on Monday, 12 October 2015

Images: Rex Features / facebook.com/victoriaderbyshire



#ShowYourScar movement aims to show the “real” side of breast cancer


10 women chosen to trial Britain’s first womb transplant


Rita Wilson undergoes double mastectomy after cancer was missed

steven momks wedding - gift of a wedding - steve grogan photography.jpg

Strangers fund couple’s wedding after groom is diagnosed with cancer


Angelina Jolie has ovaries removed after cancer scare


Bake Off star Sue Perkins has had a brain tumour for 8 years


Angelina Jolie: My double mastectomy


Meet the woman who sea swam 17 hours in memory of her best friend

lingerie breast cancer.jpg

First lingerie line launched for breast cancer survivors



How to be a nasty woman: Stylist's 9 step guide

A must-read for all women considering themselves 'good girls'

by Harriet Hall
21 Oct 2016

Totally fetch: Rachel McAdams is on board with a Mean Girls reunion

Shut up.

by Moya Crockett
21 Oct 2016

“Criminalising purchase would be a danger to sex workers”

...argues sex worker and activist, Molly Smith

by The Stylist web team
20 Oct 2016

Eyebrows ahoy... A Cara Delevingne documentary is on its way

The Cara Project will follow Delevingne’s transition from model to actress.

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016

The best A-list Instagrams of the week so far

From Emily Ratajkowski's team colours to Mindy Kaling's scarlet style

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2016

Hilary Swank wins Oscars, still offered 5% of a male co-star's wage

Because woman < man

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

Ellen DeGeneres reveals the secret to her happy marriage

And it's brilliantly simple

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2016

Amy Schumer shares open letter to Donald Trump supporters

“I shouldn’t have said that he was an orange, sexually-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall opens up about anorexia battle

“I just wanted to waste away and disappear”

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Kerry Washington chooses old-fashioned name for baby boy

The Scandal star has welcomed her second baby with husband Nnamdi Asomugha

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016