Marie Helvin diagnosed with breast cancer

Supermodel Marie Helvin has revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and has had a mastectomy.



Marie Helvin has breast cancer
Marie Helvin has breast cancer

Marie Helvin has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The 70-year-old supermodel has revealed that she had a mastectomy after discovering a lump on her right breast earlier this year and says that the diagnosis left her dumbfounded.

Marie told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I had a vision, an idea of myself, I suppose, of how fit and healthy I was.

"As a model, my body was my instrument and I have always looked after it. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I exercise every day, so I guess it made me think that something like this could not happen to me because I didn't fit the profile.

"Now I know what a lot of rubbish that is. It's made me realise that appearances are deceiving."

Marie, who was once married to photographer David Bailey, drew on her experience from her mother's battle with the disease during the 1980s and went into "survival mode" following her diagnosis.

She explained: "I was determined not to panic. It helped that I had helped nurse my mum through breast cancer in the 1980s - returning to Hawaii for a month to look after her.

"So I'd seen what it looked like and what she had experienced, but also that she made it through and survived another 25 years. So, of course, I was scared, but not as scared as someone who has never witnessed anyone going through that. I made a choice to place my faith and myself."

Marie explained that she kept her diagnosis private - only telling her agent, her sister and two close friends - as she didn't want to be "coddled".

The star said: "I just wanted it to be private. I knew that if I could keep focused and save all the emotion for afterwards, I would be doing myself a favour.

"I didn't want to be coddled. I've lived on my own and looked after myself for such a long time that I've learned not to depend on people. If someone does something nice for me, then it's a wonderful surprise and I'm so grateful, but I don't expect anything."