Victoria Ekanoye has emotionally revealed how Sarah Harding's death pushed her to get her own breast lump checked, with it leading to her being diagnosed with cancer.
The 39 year old has bravely opened up on her diagnosis in an interview and stunning photoshoot with OK! alongside her partner Jonny Lomas, 33, and their 10 month old son Théodore.
Former Coronation Street star Victoria has admitted in our candid chat that it was the death of Girls Aloud singer Sarah, who passed away at the age of 39 in September, which urged her to get a third opinion on her own lump.
She explained: "We're the same age. It was really alarming for me, as it was for everyone. And so sad. Really sad.
"If anything it made me determined to get to the bottom of things with my health."
Victoria continued: "Back in July I was breastfeeding Théo and I noticed there was a small lump protruding at the top of my left breast.
"My mum had breast cancer at 41, and her sister at 39 – so many people in my family in fact. So I don’t really leave any time before I check these things.
"I went for an ultrasound in France and they said that they thought it was a fibroadenoma (a benign lump). But it didn't sit well with me. I've had benign lumps in the past but this just felt different. So I went for a second opinion.
"I had another ultrasound and they said the same thing but they thought they could see small calcifications and that they might be more to do with problems within the milk ducts due to breastfeeding.
"They suggested that I continue to breastfeed up until my son was a year old and then come back.
"But I just didn’t feel comfortable with waiting another six months, to confirm that they weren’t wrong.
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"My gut was telling me not to just let it be. So we came back to the UK and I got referred to the One Stop Breast Clinic by my GP."
Sarah's mum Marie heartbreakingly announced the singer had "slipped away peacefully" in September, one year after she went public with her diagnosis.
She wrote in a social media post: "It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.
"Many of you will know of Sarah's battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day.
"She slipped away peacefully this morning. I'd like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
"I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead."
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