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Kelly Hoppen diagnosed with cancer after avoiding mammograms for eight years

Kelly Hoppen diagnosed with cancer after avoiding mammograms for eight years

The former Dragon's Den star said her diagnosis was a 'cautionary tale' against missing appointments

Former Dragon's Den star Kelly Hoppen revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer after eight years of avoiding having mammograms.

Writing in the Daily Mail, the 63-year-old explained that she was 'out of the woods' after receiving the all clear but urged others not to make her mistakes as she said a 'less happy outcome' could have occurred.

She said she 'can't believe my own stupidity' for ignoring routine invitations to have a mammogram, believing that as she grew older her chances of developing breast cancer would decrease.

Hoppen wrote that her mother, who is alive and well at 87, had breast cancer at around her age and the ex-Dragon's Den star confessed her response was to 'blank everything out'.

She also wrote that she hated going to hospitals after her father had died in one aged 48, so whenever she got a routine invitation to go in and have a mammogram she either ignored it or ended up cancelling it.

Kelly Hoppen said she missed eight years of mammograms before discovering she had cancer.
Tommy London / Alamy Stock Photo

Hoppen fully acknowledged that it was a 'foolish thing to do' and warned others not to make her mistakes of postponing or ignoring the chance to have a routine check-up.

Hoppen explained that she was finally convinced to go in for a mammogram in September 2022 and was going to cancel on the day after she hit heavy traffic on the way to her appointment.

She called Phoebe, her 'wonderful temp PA' to ask if she'd contact the hospital and cancel on her behalf as she was going to be late, but the response was that they'd see her whenever she managed to make it in.

Hoppen went in for a long-overdue mammogram and left the hospital after being told everything looked alright, but two hours later she got a call asking her to come back in.

She was told they wanted 'one more image' from her and a few hours after returning to the hospital they told her they wanted her to have an ultrasound.

The former Dragon's Den star said she'd received the all-clear, but urged other women not to skip getting screened.
Steve Vas / Alamy Stock Photo

Hoppen took this as a sign that something might be very wrong, and she later went in for three successive biopsies before being told she had a form of breast cancer called Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS).

She went for an operation to remove the cancerous cells and further tests confirmed that she was now cancer free.

However, her mind has been changed after realising how lucky she was to have caught the cancer early after finally going in for a mammogram she had tried to cancel after eight years of avoiding them.

The former Dragon's Den star encouraged people to 'overcome your fears and get checked', telling other women to 'never miss a screening'.

Featured Image Credit: Tommy London / Steve Vas / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Celebrity, Health