Strictly star Amy Dowden bravely shares latest cancer update

Amy Dowden in a patterned top on TV
Amy Dowden is keeping fans update on her chemotherapy journey (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Amy Dowden is sadly missing out on the 2023 series of the BBC show, as she is undergoing treatment for cancer.

The 33-year-old has been keeping fans in the loop about her illness and treatment, and on Thursday she shared her latest update, posting a photo from hospital.

In the candid photo, Amy wears a pink hoodie and black tracksuit bottoms and is hooked up to a drip, revealing she has just completed round five of chemotherapy.

Amy Dowden in hospital attached to a drip
Amy Dowden updated fans on her chemotherapy treatment (Instagram)

Amy holds up her hand, showing the number five with her fingers and thumbs.

The dancer, who was paired with McFly star Tom Fletcher for the 2021 series, bravely spoke about her decision to shave her head last week, explaining it was the most difficult part of her diagnosis so far. Watch Amy's emotional video of her shaving her head below...

"Taking control - The hardest step so far. I tried my best to save it. I know it’s only hair but these past few months I’ve had what feels like so much taken away from me that has made me not feel like Amy.

"I’m missing every possible aspect of dancing. I just wanted to keep my identity with my hair and I tried telling myself it wouldn’t go. But I would dread the pain of waking up to the shredding every day."

Amy Dowden receiving cancer treatment
Amy Dowden receiving cancer treatment (Instagram)

Maintaining a positive view, Amy added: "I’ve not been able to take control of this journey so far, but as you can see with some of my loved ones I took the courage and CONTROL.

"It’s going to take some time to get use to and learn to love and embrace but, I’m now focussing - not on the hair I’m losing but the hair I’m going to get back and the happy dancing, tea lover who talks way to fast whilst rolling every rrrrr who is still there inside with or without hair!"

Emotional support

Amy's friends and family have been a constant support to her during her ordeal, with Tom Fletcher's wife Giovanna, who Amy formed a close bond with, saying that Amy was her inspiration on this year's CoppaFeel! Trek, to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

"Amy has such a beautiful way about her," Giovanna told HELLO! in an exclusive interview. "We've always said these treks save lives, and Amy's going through so much – it definitely makes you walk and not moan about your feet."

Amy joined Giovanna last year on a trek, which resulted in her diagnosis.

"She wasn't even meant to be on that trek," Giovanna told HELLO!. "She moved filming dates so she could be. It was hearing those stories that made her think: 'I need to check.' She gets more than anyone why it’s so important for us to shout about this message."

Our thoughts are with Amy during this trying time.

How to check your breasts

According to CoppaFeel, the key to checking your breasts is knowing what feels normal to you. You spend more time with your body than anybody else, so you're the person most likely to notice when something doesn't feel quite right.

Make getting to know your breasts part of your normal routine - touch them when you're in the shower, when you're moisturising or when you're getting dressed. When you know what your breasts feel like 'normally', you'll notice any changes, such as if areas feel thicker, if a lump has appeared or if you see a sudden change in size or shape.

While it's normal for your breasts to feel painful around your period, if you're feeling a different kind of pain in your breasts, it's important to get it checked out.

Look out for changes in your skin, such as dimpling or puckering, or unexplained rashes or redness.

Keep an eye on your nipples too. Check if they look pulled in or have moved position or changed shape, or if any crusting or liquid is coming out.

When you're checking your breasts, check everywhere there's breast tissue - right up to your collarbone and under your armpits, where swelling can happen.

CoppaFeel suggests checking your breasts once a month. If you notice anything that doesn't feel normal to you, monitor it for a week and make an appointment with your doctor if it persists.

Check out CoppaFeel's information on how to check your breasts here.