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'I've got my life back after breast surgery' – Anne

COMEDIAN Anne Gildea has told how she has been given her life back as a result of reconstructive surgery on her breast following her cancer battle.

The 45-year-old who recently underwent the successful surgery at St James's Hospital in Dublin had a mastectomy in 2012.

The surgery to reconstruct her breast took 10 hours.

"It took a team of surgeons, there was four people operating on me. It was a very big team," she said . In addition, there was an awful lot of aftercare.

Following the procedure, she said: "I have been given my life back. I really have."

Anne said that she has large breasts, and she did not realise the psychological impact of "waking up every day and seeing one hanging down and this scar across my body".

"I gained weight. I wasn't looking after myself. I just felt, I felt ugly and it was a funny time to be going through it because I am going into my middle years at a point when no man gives you a casual glance, and the whole thing was immensely painful," she said.

Speaking about the successful surgery, Anne said: "It doesn't feel like the other breast but I have to say I love the feel of it. It's sensual in its own way.

"It came from my stomach and it is part of me and nerves will grow into it.

 

Joy

"And also the joy of this operation is it's my own living tissue on my body," she told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTE Radio One today.

Prior to the surgery, Anne vowed to be back performing with The Nualas at the Electric Picnic this September.

The comedy writer previously spoke about her battle with breast cancer in a 2012 RTE documentary, Breast Cancer: No Laughing Matter.

She recently spoke of her relief after DNA tests revealed she was not the carrier of the inherited genetic mutation BRCA cancer gene. She had waited five months for the results of checks that detect the gene which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The gene made headlines after Oscar-winning film star Angelina Jolie revealed how she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning she had inherited the faulty gene.

Meanwhile, Breastcheck, the national cancer screening programme, is to review the findings of a medical study that claims breast screening does not reduce cancer deaths.

Dr Ann O'Doherty, clinical director with BreastCheck, says they plan to study the findings. She says many controlled trials in breast screening have shown a considerable reduction in mortality, some to 30pc.

Dr O'Doherty was responding to a report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that concluded that, while some women might benefit from screening, "the effects are not large enough to be detected at the population level".

csheehy@herald.ie


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