Amanda Mealing discusses her breast cancer diagnosis

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Casualty’s Amanda Mealing was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2002, shortly after giving birth. And now, the 54-year-old, who is best known for playing Connie Beauchamp in both Holby City and Casualty, has detailed her traumatic diagnosis, which occurred within 24 hours of having her second child and left her with PTSD.

Amanda opened up about her experience during an appearance on Breast Cancer Now’s My Story podcast.

The TV star worried that she would not be able to see her sons grow up following the shocking news.

At the time, she was mum to newborn baby Otis and three-year-old Milo, who she shares with husband Richard Sainsbury.

Speaking candidly, she explained that she had found a small pea-sized lump in her breast during her pregnancy, but did not seek help until it had grown in size.

Recalling those early days, she said: “I was diagnosed 24 hours after my second son was born.”

“During the pregnancy I had, what we are all told to look out for, a feeling of something like a frozen pea.”

“But because I was pregnant – quite often ducts get blocked – I just thought, ‘It’s fine’.

“‘People will think I’m being a hysterical pregnant woman,’ so I didn’t bother talking to anyone, and that must have been when I was about six months pregnant,” she explained.

Amanda went on to say that the small lump turned into a “knotted mass” which was about half the size of her fist.

She asked her father-in-law, a retired GP, to take a look at the mass and although she realised a conversation was going on in the kitchen with her husband, the duo kept silent as they didn’t want to alarm her so close to the birth of her baby.

Her husband had a quiet word with a consultant at the hospital and she was taken for tests the day after her son was born.

The BBC star said people didn’t expect her to live, leaving her feeling “overwhelmed” by the idea that she would not be able to share her life experiences with her children.

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Amanda underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, before she was later given the all clear from doctors.

However, she has since said that she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following her cancer diagnosis, which saw her weight drop to six stone.

The family are now believed to be living in South Wales to be near the set of Casualty in Cardiff.

The actress, who found fame in TV series Grange Hill in the early 1980s, landed the role of Connie in 2004.

Amanda first appeared in Holby City before moving to its BBC sister show Casualty in 2014.

Earlier this year, after seven years in the medical drama, Amanda announced that she would be taking an “extended break” from the long-running programme.

During her time off, the actress has turned her attention to directing.

According to The Sun, she is directing a block of episodes of Coronation Street and has since shared snaps from the cobbles.

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