Carol McGiffin has shared an inspirational post-mastectomy bikini photograph whilst on holiday in Thailand with fiance Mark Cassidy.
The former Loose Women presenter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, after finding a lump on her breast in Malaysia in February of that year.
Carol’s treatment so far has consisted of a mastectomy, an intensive course of six rounds of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy, but it clearly hasn’t knocked her bikini confidence.
Captioning the picture, which she shared with her 450k Twitter followers; ‘Look at me getting on the Champers @DreamHKT Beach Club! See, us mastectomy girls can still do bikinis!’
Fans were quick to praise Carol for her brave snap, with one saying; ‘Wow Carol you look incredible. I’m a mastectomy girl and feel inspired to get into bikini shape now!’
Throughout her treatment, the 55-year-old has been candid about her feelings.
In an interview with the Sunday People, she said: ‘I don’t want to pretend anymore. I kept it a secret because I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me.’
‘I feel it is over now and I’ve got I through it. I just want to be able to go out without my hat on and for people not to be bothered. I just want life to get back to normal.’
Now the TV presenter is in remission and is sporting a short pixie-style cut but first appeared with a shaved head back in February 2015 as she had previously been wearing a wig to hide the result of her treatment.
Prior to her first interview with The Sunday People, only close family and friends had been informed of Carol’s diagnosis.
And there was one person in particular she wanted to keep the secret from – co-star Lynda Bellingham, who passed away last October after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
Carol with Lynda Bellingham on the set of Loose Women in 2008
‘I thought it would be really unfair of me to tell Lynda about my situation,’ Carol explained. ‘She was such an unselfish person, so she would have loved it if there was someone else to worry about.’
‘The last time I saw her was one of the handful of times I’ve worn my wig. I met up with some of the old Loose Women beforehand and we’d agreed not to tell her.
‘But as we were chatting, Denise said, “I think you should tell her” so I did. Bellers said to me, “F****** hell! Not you an’ all.” It broke the ice and she was laughing and joking with me.’
‘It felt really comfortable. She was a bit annoyed that I hadn’t told her before but that was Lynda all over – worrying about others.’
After revealing her diagnosis, Carol recieved an outpouring of support on Twitter:
And having completed her last course of chemotherapy in December 2014, Carol is now looking forward to the future, and plans to marry fiance Mark Cassidy and have breast reconstruction surgery.
Carol with fiance Mark, who she says has ‘lifted her spirits’ during treatment
‘For now normal service is resumed’ she said. ‘If it comes back I’ll deal with it. It’s not a battle. I just see it as a bit of a health hiccup.’
‘For now I’m going to get on with my life and enjoy every minute of it.’