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Emmerdale’s Malandra Burrows, 56, says pet dog ‘saved her life’ amid cancer diagnosis

Malandra Burrows reveals her dog discovered her cancer

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Malandra Burrows, 56, who played Kathy Glover on Emmerdale from 1985-2005 on and off, was diagnosed with cancer in February, a month after finding the lump in her breast. She is set to undergo chemotherapy for the next six months. Reflecting on the moment, Malandra told how one evening her one-year-old border collie, Teddy, refused to settle and kept knocking its head against her chest, which brought on severe pain.

She said: “She just kept looking up at me, staring in a very strange way, then without any warning, she thumped me with her head on my left breast so hard it brought tears to my eyes.

“It hurt so much that before I went to bed I checked to see if there was any bruising, which was the moment I felt something that had never been there before. 

“t felt like a swollen gland, which I put down to Teddy’s blow.”

Malandra decided to give it the weekend to ease but found the lump was still there on Sunday night.

She called her GP on Monday morning who told her to come in right away, which ultimately led to her cancer diagnosis.

“If it were not for Teddy I would never have known about this and I honestly believe she saved my life,” she told The Mirror.

A week after her GP visit, Malandra was advised her lump was just a cyst by a consultant – but she had a follow-up scan and ultrasound and was told the doctors needed to see her as soon as possible. 

When she arrived at the hospital, she was met by a Macmillan nurse who she said nearly broke down telling her the news.

The actress is staying positive amid her diagnosis and is being pragmatic about her future.

She said she didn’t cry when she heard the shocking news about her health because she had “galvanised herself”, but added that her body went into a sort of shock.

She previously told OK! magazine: “I didn’t feel like I was breaking down, but I just couldn’t eat or do anything. 

“There was something in the back of my mind that knew what was going on inside my body.”

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Doctors have said that the cancer may have been sparked by the menopause.

Malandra, who has previously lost friends to breast cancer, said she was meant to have a routine mammogram back in 2020, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

She believes the cancer may have been spotted earlier if the appointment had gone ahead.

Now Malandra is urging women to get mammograms.

“Regardless of age, if something seems odd, speak to your GP,” she said.

Malandra, who also has a singing career, played one of Emmerdale’s longest running characters Kathy from 1985 to 2001, and returned for a short period in 2005.

Kathy, who was married three times and dumped at the altar, saw lots of drama in her time, having been kidnapped, knocked down by a horse and trapped in a bus crash wreckage, to name but a few storylines.

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