Hurley feels that they couldn't be with her grandmother in a way that they should have because her grandma kept her illness a secret out of fear.
There was a time when breast cancer was considered a taboo subject and many women felt ashamed or hesitant in coming out and seeking help. As one of the leading types of cancer in women, today, breast cancer has started getting the due attention that it should get. But we still have a long way to go. Elizabeth Hurley, one of the evergreen beauties of Hollywood has spoken about her pain of losing her grandmother to breast cancer because she did not share anything about her failing health conditions.
Our grandmothers are strong maternal influences in our lives and we look up to them for not only inspiration but also courage. Seeing our grandmothers fading away from our lives, gradually, can be a heart-wrenching experience. Hurley still struggles to come to terms with the fact that they couldn't be with her grandmother in her secret battle with cancer in a way that they should have been. Therefore, she has decided to raise awareness for breast cancer and let women know how important it is to check their own bodies and seek immediate help in case of any abnormalities.
"They didn't talk about it [then] and she didn't talk about it and it's a source of enormous sadness to me that I feel if she'd been diagnosed today with what we know now, with the advances they've made in treatments, with diagnosis, with awareness, the way we talk about it, I feel it could just have been different for her," Hurley said of her grandmother. "I'm sure everybody who has had this awful experience in their lives just had these terrible regrets that it didn't come sooner, which makes us so much keener to now say, 'there has to be a time when we don't talk about any breast cancer awareness anymore because there isn't breast cancer', we need to get to that day," reports HELLO!
The 52-year-old also urged women to check their own bodies regularly and to go to the doctors if they notice anything different. "You still are responsible for checking your own breasts and you're still responsible for going fast to the doctor if you have a problem," she said.
Symptoms of breast tumors vary from person to person. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, some common, early warning signs of breast cancer include:
- Skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts
- An increase in size or change in the shape of the breast(s)
- Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
- General pain in/on any part of the breast
- Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of the breast
However, the Royals star does understand that it is not easy to deal with something so soul-crushing as breast cancer, therefore, a lot of women do not seek help in fear of getting diagnosed with it. To them, she said, "Of course we are [scared of that]. And my grandma for sure didn't want someone to confirm that she had a big lump in her breast. She obviously didn't want to hear that and hoped it would go away, like putting your head under the pillow when you hear a noise in the night."
Hurley also admitted she wished she was able to do more to support her grandmother following her diagnosis. "We didn’t know, which we've now found out, that people who have breast cancer are so enormously comforted by hearing other people's stories, knowing they're not alone. Having a safe haven to go to sometimes. All those are things we've learnt now," she said. "We didn't know anything when my grandmother had it and she didn't talk about it, she didn't share. I feel we weren't there for her in a way that we should have been, but we didn't know anything either."
The mother of a 17-year-old has been the Global Ambassador for the Estée Lauder Companies' Breast Cancer Campaign for the last 20 years. It's a project that she's not only passionate about but one that brings great joy to her life, reports EOnline.
"I feel honored and really pleased when a lady will come up to me and say I saw you on TV talking about breast cancer and I went and got a mammogram," Hurley shared with E! News. "I made sure my daughter or my mother get's a mammogram. That to us is the most important thing I think we achieve on some levels."