A former Miss Germany has told how she felt she had lost part of her femininity when she had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Katrin Wrobel, now aged 45, was just 24 when she won the coveted title and went on to become a successful TV presenter.
But her world fell apart when she was diagnosed with breast cancer after a visit to her gynaecologist in July.
After looking at the ultrasound results, he arranged for a mammogram instantly.
She told German newspaper Bild: “The usual wait in Berlin is between two and four months.
“After the mammogram, the radiologist called me in and said, ‘We’re going to do a biopsy. By the looks of it, it’s breast cancer.’
“He literally said the word ‘cancer’. That was unbelievable. When I came out of the practice, it was raining cats and dogs – like in a dull Hollywood movie.”
She continued: “At the beginning of August I was in the clinic for a biopsy.
“I just thought: I have so many customers right now. I can’t let them down.”
For a brief period, she was happy when she was told the first biopsy showed no cancer, but then came a second phone call when her consultant said: “Unfortunately, the second sample from the tumour had cancer cells.”
The lump had to be removed surgically and she said: “Only once that had happened could a decision be made on what therapy was needed.
“But ideally they want to get the thing out and over with.”
In September, the tumour was removed from her left breast. She said: “The nightmare didn’t end there”.
There were more cancer cells, with the risk that they had spread to the mammary gland tissue.
Following consultation with other doctors decided they needed to perform a mastectomy and rebuild the breast with silicon.
She said: “I had the mastectomy done three weeks ago. Since then I have only been able to move my left arm to a limited extent. My recovery phase should last until March.”
She said analysis of the breast tissue confirmed that the mastectomy was the right decision.
Speaking about having breast implants, she said: “At first, I had my problems with the implant. I know there are women who choose silicone voluntarily.
“But I never belonged to that mentality. But when a part of your femininity is taken away from you, that’s something else entirely.”
She said the turning point was when a friend compared it to having a bad tooth being fixed with a filling.
Wrobel said her husband Klaus Fricke, 70, had supported her throughout, adding: “My husband was present at every examination and operation.
“Klaus stood there like a rock in the waves. He came to the clinic every day and would not leave me alone. He’s the love of my life.”
She said the hardest was telling her daughter, adding: “It was incredibly difficult for me to tell my daughter Louisa (13) about my diagnosis.
“It was very emotional. My daughter said to me, ‘We can do this! We’ll just punch the cancer away!’ She nailed it really well. I’m so proud of her.”
She concluded: “I always went to all check-ups regularly. Even so, the topic of breast cancer was so never really on my mind.
“But only when you get the diagnosis yourself can you understand the powerlessness. My last few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions.”