Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye, 42, shares a huge cancer update two years after her life-changing diagnosis

Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye has revealed she is finally cancer-free, two years after being diagnosed with the disease.

The actress revealed she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021, and has since undergone a double masectomy.

Victoria, who previously played Angie Appleton on the ITV soap from 2017 to 2019, revealed that her latest PET scan came back clear.

Tweeting a snap with her partner Jonny Lomas and their son, Théo, Victoria wrote: ‘Taken the day I revealed my Breast Cancer diagnosis, 2021. Just received my blood & PET scan results, I can finally say…I’m CANCER FREE

‘Thank you to those who formed my safety net. I’m humbled to have such beautiful humans in my life. 2024 Let’s go! #WorldCancerDay.’

Coronation Street actress Victoria Ekanoye has revealed she is finally cancer-free, two years after being diagnosed with the disease

The actress revealed she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 after finding a lump while breastfeeding her son Theo, and has since undergone a double masectomy

The actress revealed she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 after finding a lump while breastfeeding her son Theo, and has since undergone a double masectomy

Victoria, who previously played Angie Appleton on the ITV soap from 2017 to 2019, revealed that her latest PET scan came back clear

Victoria, who previously played Angie Appleton on the ITV soap from 2017 to 2019, revealed that her latest PET scan came back clear

Speaking to The Sun about her news, she said: ‘Oh gosh, its been a long wait, obviously at the end of 2021 is when I got diagnosed and our boy wasn’t even 1 years old, so we are just over the moon to have that weight lifted off our shoulders.

‘We laughed and cried, it was just so surreal because it feels like it’s been going on for so long.’

Victoria first found a lump only as big as a frozen pea when she was breastfeeding her baby son, six months, in 2021. 

She then underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, a type of breast cancer, in the same place. 

After her diagnosis, Victoria landed a role on Death In Paradise in 2022, but was devastated when she found a ‘second lump’ in her breast on set in Guadeloupe. 

She told MailOnline: ‘I had to fly out to Guadeloupe, and I took my son and mum with me.

‘Whilst I was out there I found a second lump, so that was the moment for me. I remember I was on set and about to go on.

‘I had to take a couple of minutes and throw it to the back of my mind, and have a little talk to myself – “You can deal with this. Go out and do your job!” 

Victoria, previously played Angie Appleton on Coronation Street from 2017 to 2019

Victoria, previously played Angie Appleton on Coronation Street from 2017 to 2019

She underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, a type of breast cancer, in the same place

She underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, a type of breast cancer, in the same place

‘When we came back – we actually came back to England in September – and at that point I went to see the GP, because I know there’s an amazing service called the One Stop Breast Clinic.

‘Basically, if you’re symptomatic, whatever the symptoms may be, they get you an appointment and you’re seen within two weeks.

‘I had a physical examination by the breast nurse and then I had a needle test in my armpit, I had mammograms, I had biopsies in the mammogram as well – so they took samples from both lumps – and I had ultrasounds on the day as well, so I was there for about four hours in total. I wasn’t expecting that.

‘I’m so grateful and by the end of that day, I saw the breast consultant. And she said, “Look, I want to be honest with you. It concerns me what we’re seeing but we obviously have to send everything off for samples, so can you come back next week – we will meet with the Head Consultant and bring somebody with you”.

‘And my family has heard that a lot before and so I knew that it had to be something.’

She explained that it was at that point that she decided whatever she would get a double mastectomy regardless of what they found: ‘Because I wasn’t risking it coming back in the other breast or coming back in the same breast – and already with the risk of it in the family.’

In December, she shared an update on her cancer battle during an appearance on Loose Women, revealing she only had a very small number of tumor cells still circulating in her body.

‘I haven’t told you this yet but I am OK! They put me on medication rather than chemotherapy because chemotherapy was more life threatening due to my sickle cell,’ she said.

‘The side effects for that is that I am now in an induced menopause which is really fun with a toddler,’ she joked. 

‘So I went and had an incredible, groundbreaking blood test to see if I had any circulating tumour cells left in my body from the breast cancer and I do, but it’s a very small amount that can be treated. 

‘I’m hoping that it’s not a case of having to need chemotherapy because of all the side effects of that. 

‘But the main thing for me is knowing now, because it’s on a molecular level. It’s not something you’d see on a scan, an ultrasound or a mammogram, it’s nothing you can feel.’

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?

What is breast cancer?

It comes from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.

When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding tissue it is called ‘invasive’. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.

Most cases develop in those over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, though this is rare.

Staging indicates how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast-growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.

What causes breast cancer?

A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.

Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance, such as genetics.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign. 

The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  • Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.

If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest X-ray.

How is breast cancer treated?

Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.

  • Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
  • Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focused on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops them from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying.
  • Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.

How successful is treatment?

The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.

The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 means more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000

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