Emmerdale star Malandra Burrows diagnosed with stage three breast cancer

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Emmerdale's Malandra Burrows has been diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

The actress, who is best known for her role as Kathy Brookman on the ITV soap, was left stunned by the news, as she was otherwise healthy.

Speaking to OK!, she revealed that the lump in her left breast had originally been diagnosed as a simple cyst, before she was called back with bad news.

Malandra had found the lump while exercising and assumed it to be a gland – but an ultrasound and follow-up scan revealed something more sinister.

She told the publication: "The consultant said they needed to see me as soon as possible and added, ‘Could you bring someone with you?’"

"But I thought I’ve got to take this on my own. I’m single, and I felt I couldn’t do that to a friend."

She was met by a Macmillan nurse, who reassured her that she would get through it – and ring the bell to signal the end of treatment.

The lump has now been removed from Malandra's breast, though she is about to go through a gruelling round of chemotherapy to ensure the cancer doesn't spread throughout her body.

She said: "I’m not very good at being poorly. To feel awful and low worries me. I asked my [medical] team, ‘Do I really need to go through this?’ and they said that if this cancer is allowed to spread around my body, they could do nothing more."

But she's remaining positive – and contemplating designing a new range of beanie hats for when she loses her hair.

The possibility of a mastectomy is also on the table, though Malandra is remaining "brave" – and admits there's no point having "wonderful boobs" if you're "pushing up daisies".

She further acknowledged that she might even get "some nice new boobs" after her reconstruction surgery.

The actress admitted that if her routine mammogram in 2020 hadn't been cancelled due to the pandemic, the cancer may have been found earlier.

But she also suggested it might have been a blessing, telling OK!: "Someone asked me, ‘If you’d had a mammogram back in lockdown, how would you have felt knowing you couldn’t have treatment?’ So I felt blessed in a way."

Now she is set on raising awareness for the disease, and is encouraging all women to head out for a mammogram.

As well as playing Kathy in Emmerdale from 1985 until 2005, Malandra is also known for appearing in now cancelled soap Brookside as Sue in 1983.

She also appeared in the 2006 series of ITV reality show I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! – but her latest role came in a 2011 episode of game show Total Wipeout.

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