The news that Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding is battling advanced breast cancer is shocking and saddening.
The singer, who is 38, shared a photo from the hospital bed where she is receiving treatment on Instagram yesterday.
In the caption, Sarah revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. She added: 'A couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body. I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can.'
Sarah's heartbreaking diagnosis serves as a reminder of why regularly checking our breasts for any unusual changes is so important.
One of the UK's leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Now, say it's imperative that women perform a self-check every month and contact their GP with any worries or concerns. This is because early breast cancer diagnosis increases the chance of successful treatment.
'Noticing an unusual change doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer, and most breast changes are not because of cancer. But it’s important to get checked by your GP,' the charity say on their website, stressing that coronavirus is not a reason to delay.
'If you find a change, contact your GP. You should do this in the first instance by calling your GP surgery or visiting the GP surgery website to find out what to do... Doctors will decide what’s best to do based on your individual situation.'
HOW TO CHECK YOUR BREASTS
Breast Cancer Now recommend using 'the TLC method' on the whole breast area, including your upper chest and armpits:
- Touch your breasts: can you feel anything unusual?
- Look for changes: does anything look different?
- Check any changes with your GP
THE MOST COMMON BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS TO LOOK FOR, ACCORDING TO BREAST CANCER NOW
- a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – you might feel the lump but not see it
- a change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
- a change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
- a change to the nipple, for example it has become pulled in (inverted)
- rash or crusting around the nipple
- any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple
- changes in size or shape of the breast
You can find out more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, plus information and support, on the Breast Cancer Now website.
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