The model, 58, spoke candidly about mammograms – which are X-rays performed on women’s breasts to screen for cancer – during a recent interview withUs Weekly. While discussing her last 28 years as the ambassador of Estée Lauder’s campaign, she told women that if they feel something “abnormal” when examining their bodies, they shouldn’t hesitate to get it checked by a doctor.
“I think the most important thing you can do is familiarise yourself with your breasts because they’re yours and only you know how they feel,” she said. “You should recognise something when it’s abnormal, and you should go to the doctor right away.”
Hurley emphasised that annual screenings for breast cancer are not only “vital,” but they should be considered a part of “looking after your health in every way”. She also went on to urge women to be “breast cancer bullies” by continuing to encourage their loved ones to get checked for the disease.
“Make sure your friends, your family, your mother, your grandmother, that they’re going for their screenings regularly and urge them to self-check,” she said. “It doesn’t discriminate. It can hit anybody. Some groups are more vulnerable than others.”
She also made a reference to one breast cancer that can be difficult to treat, triple-negative breast cancer, which “differs from other types of invasive breast cancer” because “it tends to grow and spread faster, has fewer treatment options, and tends to have a worse prognosis”, as noted by the American Cancer Society. The type of cancer can also be “more common in women younger than age 40, who are Black, or who have a BRCA1 mutation”.
“It disproportionately affects Black women,” the Bedazzled star added. “It’s a diverse disease and it needs to be attacked in a diverse way.”
According to the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 45 and 54 “should get mammograms every year”. Meanwhile, women who are 55 and older can either “switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms”. In addition, women between the ages of 40 and 44 “have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year”.
The organisation also noted that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with estimates of “about 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer” being diagnosed in women in the US in 2023.
Over the years, Hurley has continued to speak about the importance of getting a mammogram. Last year, she joined Loose Women hosts Kaye Adams, Brenda Edwards, Nadia Sawalha, and Carol McGiffin for a self-examination on live TV. During the segment, she also opened up about losing her own grandmother to the disease, and how her attitudes towards breast cancer have shifted over time.
“At that time nobody talked about it. There was no pink ribbon, no Breast Cancer Awareness month,” the Serving Sara star said, adding that when her grandmother first found a lump in her breast, she didn’t go to the doctor because she was “scared and embarrassed”.
“When she finally went it was quite progressed. But she still never talked about it,” the model continued. “It’s still a life-threatening disease for many women, but times have changed. We talk about it now.”
During her interview with Us Weekly, she went on to celebrate her 28th year with Estée Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, noting that Estée Lauder’s daughter-in-law, Evelyn Lauder, is the one who first asked her “to get involved” with the mission.
“That’s how it started, and I’m still here. We’ve raised $118m, 93 million of which went straight to research,” she said. “The rest went to education, medical services, support groups [and more]. It’s a phenomenal achievement.”