Michelle Heaton details 'crippling' menopause after hysterectomy at 35
Michelle Heaton details undergoing ‘crippling’ menopause that saw her become ‘a shadow of herself’ after having a hysterectomy at 35
Michelle Heaton has opened up about going into immediate menopause at 35 after she underwent a total hysterectomy.
The singer, 43, discovered she had the BRCA2 mutation gene 11 years ago, which are genes that can raise your risk of getting cancer if they become altered.
She previously revealed she was ‘completely devastated’ by the diagnosis and decided to have a preventative double mastectomy, admitting she would have ‘done anything’ to ‘save’ her life.
She had both her breasts surgically removed before then also undergoing a hysterectomy – a surgical procedure to remove the womb – to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer.
Michelle has now taken part in a ‘Still Me’ themed photo-shoot with proceeds from the Raishma Breast Cancer Now collection going to the star’s favourite charity.
Difficult time: Michelle Heaton has opened up about going into immediate menopause at 35 after she underwent a total hysterectomy
The singer, 43, discovered she had the BRCA2 mutation gene 11 years ago, which are genes that can raise your risk of getting cancer if they become altered (pictured in June)
Tough: She previously revealed she was ‘completely devastated’ by the diagnosis and decided to have a preventative double mastectomy, admitting she would have ‘done anything’ to ‘save’ her life (pictured in July)
Speaking to Breast Cancer Now, she got candid about her experience, saying she was ‘lucky to be alive’.
She said: ‘On paper, I really should have died years ago but there’s an angel out there keeping an eye on me and I’m so grateful.
‘Every day I know I am lucky to be alive and here for my daughter Faith and son AJ. October is breast cancer awareness month, but for anyone affected by breast cancer, every month, every day, every hour matters.’
Michelle went on to detail how she went through a ‘dark time’ due to her ‘crippling’ menopause, crediting her husband Hugh Hanley for supporting her.
She explained: ‘I had a total hysterectomy when I was 35 because I had the risk of ovarian cancer at an early age due to my genes – I went into immediate menopause.
‘I really struggled even getting out of bed – the lethargy from the menopause was horrendous. It was just crippling.
‘Hugh my husband really could see me go from a young woman into a shadow of myself. He had already supported me through the double mastectomy and it was a dark time for us.
‘He is my absolute hero and been there for me over the last 15 years through thick and thin.
Grateful: Speaking to Breast Cancer Now, she got candid about her experience, saying she was ‘lucky to be alive’ (pictured in June)
Her rock: Michelle went on to detail how she went through a ‘dark time’ due to her ‘crippling’ menopause, crediting her husband Hugh Hanley for supporting her (pictured with Hugh)
‘I had no friends my own age to talk to about it as most women are much older. Nothing could have prepared me. People were just not talking about the menopause like they are now.’
She continued: ‘Fortunately, I now have testosterone via an implant which has made a big difference to my energy, sanity and muscle tone.
‘I have it in my bum as it has to be where there is some fat, so it can be absorbed well. I get it privately because like a lot of women not all the HRT we want and need is available on the NHS.
‘We are still getting educated on it all. It has been a game-changer and improved my muscle tone, mood and energy.’
Michelle went on to say: ‘My own experience was totally devastating but with the love and strength of my hero husband Hugh and an amazing medical team, I am here and in the best shape mentally and physically of my life.
‘I got sober two and half years ago and that has been crucial for my health.’
It comes after earlier this year, Michelle reflected on her double mastectomy and decision to undergo two breast reconstructive surgeries a year ago.
She took to Instagram to share a snap of herself sporting a blue hospital gown after she was admitted for her reconstructive surgeries in 2022.
Health: It comes after earlier this year, Michelle reflected on her double mastectomy and decision to undergo two breast reconstructive surgeries a year ago
She also shared throwback photographs of herself in hospital after her double mastectomy to mark World Cancer Day.
Her husband Hugh was seen holding her hands by her bedside while another picture showed her cuddling her daughter Faith, who was six months old at the time.
Michelle penned lengthy captions, reflecting: ‘Today is World Cancer Day. This is my story… 11 years ago almost to the day, I discovered after genetic testing, I had the BRCA mutation gene.
‘It was completely devastating and turned my world upside down, especially when I learned that Faith – who’s now 11 years old – would also have a 50 per cent chance of carrying it.
‘There was never any doubt in my mind that I would have preventative surgery – it was a no-brainer for me: I had to do anything in my power that could ultimately save my life, so when Faith was just six months old, I had my double mastectomy & reconstruction.’
Michelle went on to explain that after having her second child AJ, who is now nine, she decided to have a hysterectomy.
She continued: ‘After having my second child, AJ, I decided to undergo a total hysterectomy to reduce my risk of ovarian cancer, too – a massive decision at just 35 years old, especially as it would trigger early menopause.
‘I’ve already had to be open and honest with faith, about our family history, and why one day she may decide to be tested too.
Surgery: She also shared throwback photographs of herself in hospital after her double mastectomy to mark World Cancer Day (pictured after the surgery with her daughter Faith)
Candid: Michelle went on to explain that after having her second child AJ, who is now nine, she decided to have a hysterectomy
‘It’s heartbreaking, and quite natural to feel guilt and sadness. That’s why I’m so passionate about protecting future generations from breast & ovarian cancer.
‘Not everyone is ‘lucky’ enough to know their risk early and be able to take the steps to reduce, not eliminate, the risk of cancer.
What is the BRCA gene and how does it affect people’s risk of cancer?
Having a mutated BRCA gene – as famously carried by Angelina Jolie – dramatically increases the chance a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, from 12 per cent to 90 per cent.
Between one in 800 and one in 1,000 women carry a BRCA gene mutation, which increases the chances of breast and ovarian cancer.
Both BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that produce proteins to suppress tumours. When these are mutated, DNA damage can be caused and cells are more likely to become cancerous.
The mutations are usually inherited and increase the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer significantly.
When a child has a parent who carries a mutation in one of these genes they have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the mutations.
About 1.3 per cent of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer, this increase to 44 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation.
‘The work that all the foundations I’m affiliated with and lots more do – gives me hope that we’ll all eventually be able to know what our risk level is and know what we need to do to reduce that risk.
‘So This World Cancer Day, we recognise the power of working together.
‘We know that every single one of us has the ability to make a difference, large or small, and that together we can make real progress in reducing the global impact of cancer.
‘This 4 February, we call on you, whoever and wherever you are, to play your part in creating a cancer-free world.’
In a second caption, she reflected on her decision to have two breast reconstructive surgeries last year, saying it has given her ‘peace of mind’.
She wrote: ‘A year ago I underwent me SECOND reconstruction of my breasts. This was 10 years AFTER my double mastectomy and reconstruction.
‘Whilst my risk of getting breast cancer will never be nil, having preventative surgery reduces my risk significantly.
‘The team at @sculpt_mybody done an amazing job looking after me with care and support. Re-sculpting my breasts and giving me peace of mind as a BRCA carrier.’
Michelle has previously spoken about about her reconstructive surgeries, joking that her husband Hugh was ‘extremely happy’ with her breasts soon after the operation.
Michelle had reconstructive surgery in February 2022, ten years following her double mastectomy after her implants started leaking.
She said in an Instagram caption soon after the surgery: ‘Good morning folks… Today this is me… in my extremely sexy underwear..
‘As you may or may not know 6 weeks ago I underwent reconstruction with fat transference to my breasts, to re-do my reconstruction from a double mastectomy I had 10 years ago due to my BRCA2 gene.
Difficulties: Michelle explained that she was ‘completely devastated’ and decided to have a preventative double mastectomy, admitting she would have ‘done anything’ to save her life
Surgery: In a second caption, she reflected on her decision to have two breast reconstructive surgeries, saying it has given her ‘peace of mind’
‘Today I am wearing compression underwear, as I’m told to do. It helps to stop fluid build-up.
‘Right now I’m off to Harley street to see my team at @sculpt_mybody to get my check up to see how it worked.
‘Of course I’ve looked… few weeks ago I had my final dressings removed and even in 3 weeks they are settled and if I may say looking epic…
‘The team at @sculpt_mybody have taken the worry & stress from me and as a by product… @hughhanley is extremely happy too! x’
Michelle previously opened up about cruel online comments which prompted her to have the surgery in February.
While the TV personality refrains from reading nasty comments, she revealed that a certain remark about her breasts after posting a bikini snap ‘made her pay attention’ and pushed her to see a doctor.
Support: In a second post shared on World Cancer Day last week, she included throwback photographs of herself in hospital showing her husband Hugh Hanley holding her hands
Speaking to new! magazine, the pop singer pinpointed a specific comment which stood out: ‘It said something like, “Look at her. If I were her I’d be more worried about her breast looking like it’s exploded.”
‘It’s a difficult one as I always like to say I don’t read nasty comments. But for me, that wasn’t nasty, it was a saviour.’
The mother-of-two went on to say she is ‘grateful’ to those who commented as it pushed her to act faster.
‘It’s never nice to read comments about your body but in this case I’m grateful people who commented were more vigilant than me.
‘I might not have done it so quickly and it needed doing. I could be thinking it was fine and then it started leaking into my body, and I’d be facing a medical emergency,’ she reflected.
WHAT IS A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY?
A double mastectomy is the removal of both breasts.
This is a way of treating breast cancer and is often done to women who are at a high risk of the disease returning after therapy.
The treatment may also be suitable for women who are unable to have radiation therapy, have a tumour larger than 5cm across or have a mutation, such as in the BRCA gene, that increases their cancer risk.
Most women stay in hospital for one or two nights but are able to return to their regular activities within around four weeks.
Side effects can include pain, swelling, a build up of blood or fluid at the surgery site, limited arm movement and numbness in the chest or upper arm.
After surgery, some women may wish to have the breast mound rebuilt to restore its appearance in breast reconstruction surgery.
Some patients may require other treatment after a mastectomy such as radiation, chemo or hormone therapy.
Source: American Cancer Society
Source: Read Full Article