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I found a lump and my worst fears came to life: Danielle Bitton shares her story

4 October 2020 9:50 AM
Tags:
Cancer
Breast cancer
chemotherapy
Danielle Bitton

Cape Town-based singer and actress Danielle Bitton opens up about how her life changed after being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

Bitton is a local performer who is well-known to the Sea Point community for her beautiful singing voice.

During the initial stages of South Africa's hard lockdown, Bitton hosted balcony concerts from her apartment to bring cheer to Sea Point residents and pay tribute to essential workers.

Her performances were streamed online and a large portion of the proceeds went to breast cancer support group Reach4Recovery.

Bitton was touring the world last year as a cast member of the hit musical production Evita.

She returned to South Africa in December 2019 after she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer while in China.

Bitton says it was a terrifying experience to discover a lump in her breast while in a foreign country.

When she came back home, she had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy during the lockdown, all the while maintaining a positive spirit.

The performer says her supportive family and friends helped her cope through her diagnosis, despite feeling isolated due to the lockdown at times.

Bitton explains that she had a double mastectomy after genetic testing that found she had the BRCA2 genetic mutation which increases the risk of several other types of cancer.

I was on tour in China, playing the role of Evita. I had two more weeks on tour and I found a lump in my breast.

Danielle Bitton, performer

I found the lump and my worst fears came to life. I was diagnosed in Guangzhou.

Danielle Bitton, performer

When I got home to South Africa, I sat with my mom and we just cried because it is a scary thing.

Danielle Bitton, performer

After the biopsy confirmed that it was stage 2 and grade 3, we needed to get going [on treatment] as fast as possible.

Danielle Bitton, performer

Being the optimist that I am, I tried to find meaning in everything I was going through from a spiritual point of view.

Danielle Bitton, performer

Bitton has encouraged women to be deliberate about examining their breasts and prioritising their overall health.

I didn't have gap cover, I was scrambling to get on a new plan.

Danielle Bitton, performer

I would tell everyone to check their breasts and make sure that they have very good medical aid in place.

Danielle Bitton, performer

Listen to Danielle Bitton in conversation with Zian Johnson:


4 October 2020 9:50 AM
Tags:
Cancer
Breast cancer
chemotherapy
Danielle Bitton

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