By the way I've just seen your comments regarding the whole mastectomy and recon side of things. I had bilateral mastectomies and immediate reconstruction done in May 2005. I live just outside Newcastle upon Tyne. I didn't need any chemo or rads as I was told it a a Grade 2 lobular, no node involvement and as I opted to have second breast taken off prophylactically, I think they thought that the radical surgery combined with the other factors meant that chemo and rads wasn't deemed necessary. I would say however, after getting an initial infection and ending up loosing the implants for a few months, until inflaters done, that if I had my time over, I would probably give my body a chance to heal first and then have reconstruction maybe a few months to a year later. Some people obviously have to anyway if they are having chemo or rads. I was told I could have immediate. Implants still not perfect, got to have some liposuction done later inthe year to fill out creases that have now formed along the top of the implants. They gave me a date a few weeks ago, but I bottled out, ha ha. Was worried that something might go wrong, but I will have it done eventually.
I saw that article and to be honest I still think she looks lovely. These newspaper constantly do this sort of thing. We live in a society where it seems to be the mortal sin to get older as a woman, or put on the slightest bit of weight. It's bad enough having to go through this flaming disease and the surgery and all the stress that goes with it, without putting up with this sort of crap.
These companies are out to sell newspapers and unfortunately a lot of people rejoice in bad news - if it's happening to someone else it somehow makes you feel your own situation is better, unkind but there you are. And what about all those celeb mags which want to feature people at their worst? With gigantic pimples on their noses, their pants off etc
I gave up reading the News of the World which we used to call the News of the Screws - sorry moderator, after they exposed a famous gay man I can't remember the name of, just felt they were glorying in his wanting to keep it quiet. Well why shouldn't he?/
It's not known as the gutter press for nothing
Yes, I agree. She should not have brought her cancer into the equation as a platitude; very unprofessional and I'd be tempted to tell her so but then I would!
Anyway, I will mail the gits.
This is the email address I sent my rant to!!!!
If a few more people emailed perhaps they would think before they put the next article in, the reply I had from his PA was equally condescending - what do you think?
I have spoken with the Editor regarding your e-mail and he is sorry that you have taken the article in this way. This was most certainly not the intention of the article. We still think she's beautiful, indeed the article mentioned that she still turns heads.
I too suffer from cancer, but it certainly didn't offend me.
I do hope that you remain in good health, it certainly gives you a different outlook on life.
PA to the Editor and Deputy Editor, Daily Express
Northern & Shell Building, 10 Lower Thames Street,
London, EC3R 6EN
Tel: 0871 520 7476 Fax: 0871 434 2704
Thanks for comments. Its a post code lottery with recons. I know of only one lady have immediate recon in this area and she had to wait two months for surgery date after they have confirmed it wasnt in any lymph nodes. I think it is quicker (and probably looks good for targets) to get people in get the tumour out. One or two hours for mastectomy 8 for immediate recon. I was told its more difficult to allocate that time in theatre. So if more people wanted it. How would they manage it.
Recon has never ever been discussed with me and thats in five months. Very reassuring. Likewise a prothesis which I am seeing about and paying privately for. I cannot be bothered with it all. As well as coping with chemo you have to chase them about everything.
Vertangle, think we are from the same region and if so, I was told that I could have a recon at a later date if I wanted it but they advised against an immediate one incase they needed to go back in!
Tosh me thinks. I know for a fact that they now offer immediate recons to everyone suitable, a change in policy, but don't know why. Carlilse Infirmary
Please share the address of the Mail's editor.
If I had the nowse then I'd be setting up a petition against such articles about ANYBODY who has/has had BC - it stinks. They are papers NOT newspapers, in fact they're rags.
Starfish. I was told that if I had only needed 1 breast to be removed I would have been offered immediate recon. They couldn't do both at once too long an op
This one appears to be a post code lottery thing.
I never buy papers anymore, haven't done for years because of the general obsession with celebrity and constant decrease in quality of research of so called journalists.
Or as my family would say...
bunch of hacks.
I agree there are a lot of articles. Most of them seem encouraging and I agree the pictures of Koo Stark taken when she was 30 were unkind. I certainly never will look like I did 25 years ago, carefree on a greek beach topless with two good breasts!!! But thankfully or hopefully no one will print a picture of me in the mail either. The mail also carried an article a couple of weeks ago about the the presenter of Womans hour Jenny Murray. She was about my age 56 when diagnosed large tumour, chemo, rads etc and seemed to get an immediate reconstruction. How come? The rest of us dont.
I have not seen the article but can only imagine it will be the usual trash that the Express and Mail laughingly describle as quality journalism but remember todays news is tomorrows chip wrappings.
Don't give a monkey's about celebrity, the Mail (the Brit paper which supported Hitler in the 1930's) or the equally repellent Express, or who's prettier than who, but well done Clares for sticking up for all those going through treatment. Brilliant...really cheered me up!
Am so with the Tricia comment, could not believe the front page coverage and attention the other week. I so hope I am wrong but I can picture the biography already being written, especially after reading headlines from her previous one re gay husband who is the father of her children.
Koo Stark as far as I have known has never gone for publicity and dealt with her BC in private and dignity, so the press should leave her alone, well done for highlighting the 5+ years worth of treatment that make you put on weight and not be able to exercise as thorough as previously, always felt she had a crap deal with the papers and was far prettier than fergie.
I think Koo Stark is a lovely woman.I've followed her BC story and have nothing but admiration for her.But I'm afraid if you court the press - as she did in her early days, they think they own you and can write what they want about you! That's the price of fame!
Breast cancer is odd. Since I was dx last year it seems to appear everywhere. Books, newspapers etc etc. There is an article in Sunday's Mail mag about a very brave woman whose has a degenerative sight disorder and is likely to end up blind. And she seems a very brave and admirable lady. But even she was saying she would rather have that than breast cancer. Well I for one would rather have faced bc than what she is dealing so bravely with.
Chin up all
These sorts of article seem to be on the increase. Liverbird pointed one out on here from our local paper the Liverpool Echo. I truely believe the general public are not being given all the facts surrounding BC and certain famous people who court journalist and have their story glorified in the tabloids don't help. I'm thinking of Tricia. I read an article by her a couple of weeks ago and it was very superficial.'I'm putting 2 fingers up to BC by having my hair cut and dyed' etc etc. No detail about the pain, discomfort, emotional termoil and endless years on medication, not to mention disfigurement and a zero sex drive (not suggesting we all get this/these side affects). It just sends out the wrong messages.
I don't buy the mail so can't boycot, but glad others are.
A good email, to the point, not sentimental and good on you for taking action whan you feel so moved.
I don't buy newspapers because they all misrepresent situations and at Â£1.40 I'd sooner buy the Big Issue, that does have so good articles in it and helps those who want to help themselves.
This is a copy of the email I sent to the Editor this evening!!!!
To the Editor
I have just opened my newspaper and seen a comparison picture of Koo Stark. I read the article and was shocked to see that she had suffered from Breast Cancer in 2002, if like me she has been on medication since her mastectomy to keep her cancer at bay then she has probably put on a little weight due to the tablets. Why do you have to sensationalise and print pictures like this in your paper? Can you imagine how she must feel if she saw this picture? Having battled cancer I would think this is the last thing she needs 6 years down the line. I am disgusted by this kind of journalism - yes, probably because I also had Breast Cancer and am very sensitive to this issue.
Please do not patronise me if you bother to reply to my email by saying you are "sorry".
There is absolutely no story attached to this article and I feel you have portrayed a comparison of her now and then which is probably beyond her control.
Did you know that most women taking medication for breast cancer have to take it for 5 + years at least and most of us put on weight due to the fact that we have an early menopause because the chemotherapy stops our ovaries from working. Perhaps before you do the next article or picture feature on some poor unsuspecting individual you should investigate the medical implications of what they may have had and why they may look like they do now.
I have never written to a newspaper before and I am so upset by this article, I cannot begin to imagine how Ms Stark must feel.
I would welcome a reply and look forward to your comments.
Agree with you totally Clares. And it's not just your 40p now , it's mine as well , and my daughters and my friends.
Â£1.20 + .40.!
I have just seen an article relating to Koo Stark in the Daily Express, the article takes up 2/3rds of page 3 showing a comparison of her now and what she looked like 20 years ago. The article is titled Years roll by for Koo - there is absolutely no story and the paper I feel is ridiculing the fact that she has put on weight, as she was diagnosed with BC in 2002 she, like a lot of us has put on weight with treatment and subsequent medication. I am disgusted with the paper and have just spent 20 minutes talking to some prat at the newsdesk asking him why would they put pictures in like this, and what does it mean. I'm sure if Koo sees it she will be upset, I know I am, its bad enough dealing with cancer let alone some gutter press printing a picture comparison 20 years apart.
If you read this Koo - I think you still look beautiful, I put two fingers up to the Express and I will never buy the paper again (40p down in profits - I'm sure will make a difference lol)!!!!