By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor
BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts has said she loves her body “more than ever” as she appeared on the cover of Women’s Health UK with a visible stoma bag.
The 43-year-old presenter revealed in October she was undergoing treatment for stomach cancer and later had a tumour removed through surgery.
She now uses a stoma bag, which attaches to her abdomen and collects her faeces, and has also been undergoing chemotherapy.
Roberts discussed staying strong mentally throughout her treatment during a photoshoot with Women’s Health UK.
She said: “Being diagnosed with cancer has meant I’ve learned to appreciate my body; be grateful that it works; be grateful they found the tumour in time to remove it and be grateful (that modern medicine means I can) have a stoma.
“I feel like I love my body more than ever.”
Addressing the importance of talking about cancer, she said: “One in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives and I think the more we can actually talk about it, the less negatively affected people will be mentally, if and when that happens.
“That’s why it means so much – as someone undergoing cancer treatment and with a visible stoma – to be on the cover of Women’s Health.”
Roberts admitted she has spent a lot of time feeling “upset” about her diagnosis and added: “When I was in hospital, recovering after my surgeries, I would overhear conversations of other women on the ward and learn they had a much worse diagnosis than me – maybe terminal cancer – and that’s when I’d feel down.
“I think my strategy, so that I can stay stable while I’m on chemotherapy, is just to get on with it and try and not let it beat me mentally.
“Like, I need to sort of tackle it head-on, because that’s how I cope with things, but I understand everyone’s different.”
Roberts, who is bisexual and a campaigner for LGBT rights, also recalled meeting her partner Kate for the first time.
She said: “I remember seeing her and just thinking she was beautiful, but I didn’t know she was gay; then she mentioned that she was going on a date with a woman and that was it, she couldn’t get rid of me!”
Claire Sanderson, editor-in-chief of Women’s Health UK, hailed Roberts as a role model.
She said: “Wellness should always be an inclusive space and what better way to embody that than have someone as inspiring as Adele on the cover of Women’s Health.
“It’s an empowering, joyful image, full of positivity and spirit.
“Adele truly is a role model – not just within the wellness world, but for all women who have had to face up to serious illnesses like cancer.
“Her mental strength – helped by talking with others and staying physically active – is quite incredible.
“ It’s been a privilege to publish and we’re incredibly proud to help Adele tell her story.”
Roberts, from Southport, Merseyside, first found fame in Channel 4’s Big Brother series in 2002 where one of her housemates was Jade Goody, who died in 2009 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
She joined the BBC in 2012 as part of the Radio 1 Xtra team, before moving to Radio 1 in 2015 to host the Early Breakfast Show and last year she took over the Weekend Breakfast programme.