Broadcaster Sarah Beeny reveals cancer diagnosis – four decades after her mother died from the disease

30 August 2022, 09:15

Sarah Beeny took to instagram to show her newly shaved head
Sarah Beeny took to instagram to show her newly shaved head. Picture: sarah.beeny / instagram

By Danielle De Wolfe

Television presenter Sarah Beeny has revealed she’s currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer – four decades after her mother died from the disease.

The broadcaster and property expert is expected to undergo surgery and radiotherapy in the new year after finding a lump in her breast.

Beeny, 50, is best known for fronting Channel 4 series Sarah Beeny's Little House Big Plans and Sarah Beeny's New Life In The Country, as well as founding collapsed online estate agent Tepilo.

In a candid interview with The Telegraph, Beeny says she had “a little bit of a breakdown” when doctors revealed the initial cancer diagnosis.

She added: “I thought, ‘You don’t understand. I have waited 40 years to hear those words.’ I knew I was going to hear it one day.”

Describing how the loss of her mother taught her “resilience” aged 10, the property expert reveals she was too young to understand the magnitude of her mother’s illness at the time.

“I knew she’d had a mastectomy but I didn’t know what a mastectomy was. I didn’t know what cancer was. I didn’t know until the day she died,” explains Beeny.

Explaining how her mother died at home following a lengthy battle with the disease – which subsequently spread from her breast to her brain, the presenter recollects overhearing the doctor explaining her mother “wouldn’t wake up”.

Admitting the “fear makes you pack a lot in”, Beeny recalls how her own diagnosis “opened a tinderbox of stuff that I’ve carefully swept under the carpet for a really long time”.

Sarah Beeny reveals cancer diagnosis.
Sarah Beeny reveals cancer diagnosis. Picture: Suzan Moore / Alamy Stock Photo

The presenter has made the decision to shave her head prior to the onset of chemo-related hair loss, noting her husband Graham Swift, and sons Billy, 18, Charlie, 16, Rafferty, 14, and Laurie, 12, helped her with the cut.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend getting four teenage boys to cut off your hair,” recalls Beeny as part of the interview.

Taking to instagram, Beeny revealed she will be donating her hair the Little Princess Trust, a cancer charity providing free wigs for children who have lost their hair due to medical conditions.

“Graham was trying to cut it nicely, but the boys – well, they’re not going to be famous hairdressers. They said I looked like Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones – I mean, she’s beautiful so I was sort of flattered, but my hair is now in some places about a centimetre long”

Recalling how she was “really, really sad” prior to picking up the trimmers, Beeny says that up until that point, the lack of visible changes allowed her to “pretend it’s not happening”.

Noting the candid conversations that took place with her children following her diagnosis, Beeny describes her fear of the disease as being greater than the battle itself.

“That final frontier of fear in my life is sort of done,” she admits.

“They just said, ‘You will be honest?’ and I said, ‘I promise you that I’m going to be around for a jolly long time yet.

“It’s going to be a bit difficult. But I promise I won’t lie.’ And I think they were OK once I said that.”

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