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Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye had to fight to hold back tears as she appeared on ITV's Loose Women on Thursday.
The actress, who played Jude's wife Angie Appleton on the cobbles from 2017 until 2019, was discussing her breast cancer diagnosis and plans to undergo a double mastectomy on the programme, with the panelists chipping in to share their own experiences.
But the tears proved difficult to hold back for the emotional star, who recently gave birth to a son, Theo.
She discovered a lump in her breast while breastfeeding him and had to visit three separate doctors in order to achieve a diagnosis after having a "gut feeling" that something wasn't right.
The show's most poignant moment came as panelist Brenda Edwards discussed her own procedure on the show, explaining: "Having been through stage three breast cancer myself, I can totally relate to what you were saying – it was bringing shivers up on my body.
"I had breast cancer in my right breast and I had a mastectomy and a reconstruction, a 12-hour procedure – I believe you're having a double mastectomy."
She went on to ask: "How easy was that? Because not a lot of women are comfortable with that, so how easy or hard was that decision for you?"
Victoria responded: "I'll be honest, when I went for the biopsies I just felt like this was going to be the case, and I don't want to have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life. I don't want to have to worry about it, I've got a baby boy to love and live for, and family and friends."
Thinking of her son, Victoria was clearly holding back tears.
She sounded choked up as she said: "I can't even begin to think about not being here for any of them. So, for me, if I can eliminate as much risk as possible then I will, so that's what I'm doing.
"Yes, it's a more invasive procedure, yes it's a longer recovery time, but ultimately if it can take that large amount of risk away it's peace of mind and it's really good for me because for my mental health, I don't have to worry about it every single day."
Victoria has also been diagnosed with sickle cell disease, which can cause complications when going under anaesthetic.
She explained: "With me having sickle cell, it's dangerous to go under the anaesthetic anyway, so they don't want to have to do that twice, which is why the reconstruction will happen at the same time."
Instead, she will have both her breasts removed at the same time and the reconstruction carried out there and then.
Victoria also expressed her sympathy for Gloria Hunniford, whose daughter died of breast cancer in 2004. Gloria subsequently set up a charity in her daughters name – the Caron Keating Foundation.
"I'm so sorry," she told Gloria, as she shared the story of Caron "teaching" her strength during and after her diagnosis.
Loose Women airs from 12:30pm weekdays on ITV.
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- Coronation Street
- Loose Women
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