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'Freak attack' Virgin Media presenter Muireann O'Connell opens up about her breast cancer scare

Please don’t ignore any change in your body. Make that appointment as soon as you can”


TV presenter Muireann O’Connell

TV presenter Muireann O’Connell

TV presenter Muireann O’Connell

VIRGIN Media star Muireann O’Connell has opened up about her recent cancer scare after she discovered a lump in her breast. 

The Six O'Clock show host took to her Instagram page where she made the personal revelation, hoping to inspire other women who may be freaking out at home in lockdown.

She accompanied the post with a picture of her wearing a blue hospital gown taken in St James’s Hospital where she attended a special clinic.

Muireann was referred to the specialist clinic by her GP after she discovered a lump in her breast.

“Who knew that a visit to the breast check clinic came with such a fabulous outfit,” she wrote.

“A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch, watching telly and giving myself a breast exam, as I often do in moments when I’m relaxed and zoned out.

“For the first time ever, I felt a lump and had a tiny little freak attack. Rather than procrastinate like I do with everything else in my life, I got myself to the GP lively.

“I was hoping my doctor would say ‘you’re imagining things! Get off Google MD! That was a lump of cheese that had fallen down your top!’; she didn’t and organised a referral to the breast check clinic in St. James’s Hospital.”

Muireann admits that the days and weeks before the hospital appointment were extremely difficult.

However, when she attended the clinic on Monday, a great weight was lifted from her shoulders.

“In the days and weeks spent waiting for the appointment, it felt like I was constantly inhaling, just that little bit tense and always aware that there was a lump in a place no one wants a lump,” she said.

“The appointment was on Monday morning just gone. Every single staff member I met in St. James’s was lovely, and calm, and organised.

“In the middle of a pandemic, that’s no mean feat.

“The doctor I met was sound, I liked her immediately but then I did think it a bit odd when she just started drawing on me with a sharpie.

“I mean, that’s a third/ fourth meeting type of thing. I was sent off for my mammogram.

“If you haven’t had one, I’m sure you’ve heard they’re uncomfortable and what you’ve heard is true.

“I had my ultrasound and I was given the all clear.

“I have cysts and they’re going to keep reoccurring so I have to train myself not to freak out every time I feel a lump but I am so very aware of how lucky I am.”

Now Muireann hopes her story can help other women in Ireland who may be worried about their personal health.

“There were going to be at least 80 people seen in the breast check clinic that day and not all will have gotten the good news that I did,” she added.

“Every three minutes, someone gets diagnosed with some form of cancer in Ireland.

“That’s a terrifying statistic.

“Please don’t ignore any change in your body. Make that appointment as soon as you can.”

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Online Editors