Julia Bradbury has said she is ‘delighted’ that her ITV documentary charting her battle with breast cancer has raised awareness and encouraged others to seek help.
The 51-year-old TV presenter, best known for her shows on nature and travel, made an extremely ‘personal’ film called Julia Bradbury: Breast Cancer and Me, which followed her experience of having the disease, as well as opening up about getting a mastectomy, and telling her young children about the illness.
Julia admitted that while it was ‘never the documentary that I wanted to make’, she was ‘delighted that the documentary has prompted more people to seek information and support from Breast Cancer Now’s helpline and website’.
The number of people who called Breast Cancer Now’s free helpline following Julia’s ITV documentary Breast Cancer And Me, which aired on April 28, increased by 21%, compared with the same week a year earlier.
At the time of broadcast, there was also a 78% increase in visits to the charity’s website, compared to the same time on the previous day.
Julia, who has three children with husband Gerald Cunningham, said she made the one hour film to ‘raise awareness of the devastating disease’ and to make those who are affected by cancer ‘feel less alone’.
‘It was never the documentary that I wanted to make, but before my breast cancer diagnosis was confirmed, I had started charting the discovery of a lump in my left breast on social media and in the press, to encourage women (and men) to check themselves and attend screening programmes if they were offered,’ she told PA.
‘It was a big decision to go on to make such a personal film, especially when my family and I were going through so much, but my motivation was to raise awareness of this devastating disease, and I hoped that by giving an open and honest account of my experiences I could help others affected by breast cancer to feel less alone.’
She continued: ‘I’m proud of the film, the team have done a brilliant job capturing the emotional and psychological impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a family, and I know that Breast Cancer And Me has helped other people on their own breast cancer journeys – and it’s helped friends and family understand the complexities of getting a cancer diagnosis, and the profound impact it has on your life.
‘I’m delighted that the documentary has prompted more people to seek information and support from Breast Cancer Now’s helpline and website, and that it moved people to set up regular donations to the charity in response to its advert that aired in the commercial break of my documentary.’
The former Countryfile presenter underwent a mastectomy in October to remove a six-centimetre tumour, and announced in February that her healing was going ‘very well’ after the procedure.
Julia recently paid tribute to Deborah James, who is receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer. The mother-of-two has raised more than £4million for Cancer Research with her inspirational campaigning.
‘All my love & admiration go to Dame Deborah James @bowelbabe. You want to campaign, you want to raise awareness about cancer, you want to help as many people as you can, you don’t want to die. The mother-of-two has stopped treatment & raised more than £3.7m since Monday #bowelcancer.’