Sarah Cawood breaks down as she details coming off HRT and antidepressants amid cancer battle 


Sarah Cawood broke as she detailed the impact of coming off hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and antidepressants amid her breast cancer battle.

The presenter, 50, took to Instagram to share a heartbreaking update after going public with her stage one breast cancer diagnosis in September.

Sitting in her parked car, Sarah wept while explaining how she has had to ditch what she was taking to help relieve her menopause symptoms and take different medication for her hot flushes, which has depression as a side-effect.

Heartbreaking: On Monday, Sarah Cawood, 50, broke down in an Instagram video as she detailed the impact of coming off HRT and antidepressants amid her breast cancer battle

Sarah captioned her raw video: ‘I solve one problem. Then another pops up in its place. Breast cancer is a f**king t**t.’ 

She told her followers: ‘I’m asking you lot for a favour today. I’m sorry I look so tired and washed out and s**t…

‘In a nutshell… I went on the Clonidine for my hot flushes. Because of my breast cancer I’ve had to come off my HRT, so then my hot flushes were awful, so I went on the Clonidine for that.

‘And also when I start my Tamoxifen (breast cancer drug), I will have to come off my SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, an anti-depressant).

So tough: The presenter explained how she has had to ditch what she was taking to help relieve her menopause symptoms and take different medication for her hot flushes

So tough: The presenter explained how she has had to ditch what she was taking to help relieve her menopause symptoms and take different medication for her hot flushes

Health update: In September, Sarah revealed she'd been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, after doctors discovered a lump during her routine mammogram

Health update: In September, Sarah revealed she’d been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, after doctors discovered a lump during her routine mammogram

‘I was on a very low dose of citalopram. That and the HRT completely wiped to my menopause symptoms. I was golden. I was coasting. Nothing bothered me, I was really calm, I never lost my temper.

‘Now, I’m on the Clonidine one of the side effects is depression, which I have noticed almost immediately I started taking the pills. But I only found out today that was a side effect

‘Plus now I’m coming off the citalopram so I’m cutting the little pills in half. And so I don’t know what to do. Every time I solve a problem, another one pops up in its place.

‘So I don’t know if any of you breast cancer ladies have the solution because apparently Tamoxifen causes depression too.’

At this point, Sarah wept and through the tears uttered: ‘I’m so sorry. And I didn’t wanna cry because everyone will send me nice messages and I won’t have time to answer them and I’ll feel guilty.

Throwback: The presenter who previously fronted 90s favourites Live And Kicking and Top Of The Pops, admitted that she feels 'lucky' that doctors discovered the disease early

Throwback: The presenter who previously fronted 90s favourites Live And Kicking and Top Of The Pops, admitted that she feels ‘lucky’ that doctors discovered the disease early

‘But it’s was like this all weekend and it’s just not like me, so I don’t know what the solution is. I’ve got to get an appointment with a doctor tomorrow but I’m not a priority.

‘And I hate feeling like this because I don’t want like to pass me by, it’s so precious So, if any of the pink army out there can help what do I do?

‘I need to get rid of the hot flushes but I also need to protect my mental health… so I don’t know what to do. I didn’t know if anybody had any advice?

‘I just wanna feel like myself again… It must be this Clonidine stuff because I was absolutely fine until I started taking that a week ago…

‘And the hot flushes are much better but I feel like everyone’s p**sing me off. And all my kind and friendliness has gone and I’m hating on my family and I just want to be on my own all the time.’

Important: Along with undergoing treatment for her diagnosis, Sarah said she is focused on raising her two children Hunter, 10, and Autumn, nine

Important: Along with undergoing treatment for her diagnosis, Sarah said she is focused on raising her two children Hunter, 10, and Autumn, nine

Back in September, Sarah told The Sun that she will undergo a lumpectomy following by radiotherapy and long-term hormone treatment.

Explaining the moment she received her diagnosis, Sarah explained that after undergoing a routine mammogram doctors sent her for a follow-up, having discovered a lump in her breast.

Following an ultrasound and a biopsy, she was told that the lump wasn’t a cyst, and she assumed the worst as she headed to meet the surgeon.

Despite receiving a cancer diagnosis, Sarah, who lives in Essex with her husband Andy Merry and their two children, said doctors reassured her that the condition was treatable.

The TV personality even joked it was the ‘Carlsberg of breast cancers’ in reference to the popular ‘if Carlsberg did’ advertising campaigns of the early noughties. 

Progress: Following her diagnosis, Sarah revealed that she will undergo a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and a long-term hormone treatment

Progress: Following her diagnosis, Sarah revealed that she will undergo a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and a long-term hormone treatment

She explained: ‘The surgeon went, ”Can you see that? That’s a very small cancerous lump”. And I went, ”Oh, OK, is it aggressive?”.

‘And she said, ”No”.. And I went, ”Brilliant”… I was like, ”OK, so easily fixed?”, and she was like, ”Yes, not really much of a problem.”

‘It really is the Carlsberg of breast cancers. If you have to have it, this is the one to have. I feel really lucky. 

‘There are people that really are up s**t creek without a paddle, who have cancer, and I am not that person.’

Sarah rose to fame in the 90s for her presenting role on The Girlie Show, before hosting Live & Kicking, Top Of The Pops and the Eurovision Song Contest. 

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?

Breast cancer develops 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 breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.

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

Staging means 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 of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps 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 the 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 focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells 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 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk, breastcancernow.org or www.cancerhelp.org.uk

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