Northern Ireland

Pamela Ballantine reveals cancer diagnosis and urges women to attend mammogram appointments

Pamela Ballantine at home during treatment for breast cancer. Picture by Kevin Boyes, Press Eye
Pamela Ballantine at home during treatment for breast cancer. Picture by Kevin Boyes, Press Eye

Pamela Ballantine has revealed she is recovering after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Speaking to UTV and writing in the Belfast Telegraph, Pamela described the tumultuous journey from diagnosis to being told surgery and chemotherapy had been successful.

Pamela, who has worked in broadcasting for 40 years, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram in December 2022.

"I had no lump or any visible sign. If I had not gone when I was called for my regular breast screening, I would not have known I had tumours in my right breast and armpit, perhaps until it was too late."

Read More : 

  • ‘AI may be able to safely assess breast cancer scans'
  • QUB team create world's first 4D-printed smart implants for breast cancer patients
Pamela Ballantine was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2022. Picture by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye
Pamela Ballantine was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2022. Picture by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye

Pamela received a letter indicating that screening had detected an irregularity, so she underwent an ultrasound and needle biopsy."I was totally in a state of shock. I got called back to see Professor Kirk on the 29 December and he said that's breast cancer. That's cancer," she said.Her oncology team recommended chemotherapy in addition to surgery.She admitted pushing back at first, but her oncologist gave her a wake-up call: “Pamela, you have to understand you are ours now.”Describing the physical and psychological toll of the treatment, Pamela wrote: "I have cried. Oh, how I have cried."However, it was effective - she has been told the surgery and drugs have eradicated her tumours.During chemo, the well-known presenter lost her hair and wore a wig she affectionately named 'Helen'."My hair is growing back. Helen may be retired soon," she added.Offering immense gratitude to her medical team, Ballantine added: "The Macmillan Nurses in the unit at the Ulster Hospital have been incredible. Their compassion, empathy, kindness, humour and of course professionalism has been second to none." She concluded by saying "I am still me and I hope I will be for many, many years to come.” 

  • Macmillan Cancer (Tel : 08088 080 000) or Action Cancer (Tel : 028 9080 3344) both help cancer patients and their loved ones