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Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman reveals breast cancer diagnosis

·2-min read
 Alexandra Shulman  (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Alexandra Shulman (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

Shulman, 63, booked an appointment with her GP after experiencing an intermittent pain in her left breast over the summer.

She was later diagnosed with the illness following an ultrasound scan at the Princess Grace Hospital in Marylebone.

Shulman, who is the longest serving editor in Vogue’s history, opened up about the “cold terror that flooded through my body” following the diagnosis.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, she said: “It was in a thoroughly ‘It’ll all be fine’ state of mind that I walked into the Princess Grace Hospital in Marylebone that bright autumnal day, having first dropped into the nearby Bella Freud shop and toyed with buying a silk dress for the party season.

“I mentioned to Prof Mokbel that he had operated on my sister and he told me that she was doing very well.

“He said he could find nothing at all unusual in my breasts and sent me along the corridor for a mammogram.

“That returned not only clear but identical to the previous years. I was naturally happy with the news and my thoughts began to turn to what to cook for dinner.

“After all, mammograms were what I and millions of women rely upon to show up breast cancer. Everyone feels relieved when there’s nothing there.”

Alexandra Shulman attends the launch of the Vogue Pop Up Club as part of Westfield London's 5th birthday celebrations at Westfield on October 30, 2013 in London (David M. Benett)
Alexandra Shulman attends the launch of the Vogue Pop Up Club as part of Westfield London's 5th birthday celebrations at Westfield on October 30, 2013 in London (David M. Benett)

But things took a dramatic turn for the worst during the ultrasound scan that followed.

She said a female radiographer discovered the issue after pressing an area under her breast.

“Immediately she said, looking at the screen, that she could see something. And she didn’t like what she saw. She was certain it wasn’t a simple cyst,” she said.

She said her “world flipped” after she was summoned to a doctor’s office to be greeted with the news that a tumour had been discovered.

The tumour had not originally shown up on the mammogram because it was located deep in the breast, she added.

The cancer was successfully removed following radiotherapy and hormone treatment.

Her oncologist, Prof Schmid, then told her that she had successfully beaten the illness.

She bought herself a fancy dress and booked a hair appointment to celebrate the news .

Shulman is the daughter of film critic and author Milton Shulman and writer Drusilla Beyfus.

She began her fashion journalism career in 1982 at The Tatler, working subsequently for the British edition of GQ where she became editor in 1990. She then took on the role of editor-in-chief of Vogue in 1992.

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