Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding shares the breast cancer symptom she dismissed

Emily Gulla
·3-min read
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding has opened up about how she initially dismissed pain in her body before being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sarah, who is 39, revealed her breast cancer diagnosis in August, adding that it had also spread to other parts of her body.

In her new book Hear Me Out, Sarah has opened up about how she dismissed pain around her breast as a cyst, before realising she was "in denial".

In an extract, Sarah explains: "At first I thought it was just a cyst. I’d been playing my guitar a lot, and I thought the strap had probably irritated an area around my breast.

"The trouble was, the pain was getting worse. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep in a bed any more. I slept on the sofa, popping painkillers like they were Smarties. I really overdid it, but the pain was overwhelming. Eventually, my skin started to bruise, and by now I was terrified."

In the excerpt of the book published by The Times, Sarah continues, explaining how she realised she was "in denial".

Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

"I’d been staying at my mum’s through lockdown, but Covid wasn’t showing any signs of going away, and it was just getting worse," she explains. "One day I woke up realising that I’d been in denial. Yes, there was a lockdown, yes, there was a pandemic, but it was almost as if I’d been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong."

Sarah continues, saying that she thought her pain was a cyst. "All through the tests, I was, of course, praying that it wasn’t cancer. I think the fact that what I had was so painful gave me some hope it might not be. I’d read that cancer lumps are often not painful, which is why I was hoping against hope that what I had was just a cyst of some kind," she explains.

In the book, Sarah also shockingly reveals how she almost died of sepsis prior to having chemotherapy and a mastectomy, and that she was then placed in a coma for two weeks. She also tragically shares how her doctor told her in December that the upcoming Christmas "would probably be my last".

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Sarah first announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer back in August, writing on Twitter and Instagram: "There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes.

"Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and 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."

We're sending Sarah lots of love.

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