Former Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen shares breast cancer diagnosis after ignoring mammograms for eight years

Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen admitted that she ignored invitations to breast screenings before she was diagnosed with cancer

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Former Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen has revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer after ignoring mammograms for eight years. The interior designer, 63, was diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ), which she was told by doctors was the ‘very mildest form of cancer’.

Opening up about her cancer journey in her column in The Daily Mail, Kelly admits regretting brushing aside invitations to screenings, which she expressed was a “foolish thing to do” and highly encourages those who receive letters from their GP to attend appointments.

Hoppen, who was an investor on Dragons’ Den from 2013 to 2015, went on to add how she feels women should not be afraid to undergo a breast screening that detects breast cancers early when they are too small to see or feel.

She said: "It was a foolish thing to do, which is why I am writing this now: it’s a cautionary tale, a warning to others, not to be too frightened, too harried by the demands of work to go to your appointments."

“It’s a cautionary tale. I find it hard to write this — it is private, I feel vulnerable — but I feel compelled to tell my story for the sake of other women”

The South African born proprietor of Kelly Hoppen Interiors revealed that since her diagnosis, she underwent a surgical procedure to have two milk ducts removed from her breasts - and has never missed a check-up.

"(My doctor) explained that I’d been very fortunate indeed: DCIS is the very mildest form of cancer," she said. "It was in two milk ducts and I was booked in to have the cancer cells removed from the ducts - an awful procedure which made me feel very sore. I was hugely fortunate. Although I’d neglected my check-ups, I was lucky that my cancer was detected early.

"Had it not been, I might have faced a less happy outcome. Actually, I might not be here writing this cautionary tale now." She added: "I have my next one booked for September and you can be assured that I’ll be there."

The NHS sends an invite to all women aged between 50 and 70 for screening every three years. You should contact your GP if you notice any symptoms of breast cancer.