Amy Dowden shares inspirational new update on her cancer journey

Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has left her fans in tears with an update on her cancer journey, posted one year after being diagnosed. The dancer, from Caerphilly, was diagnosed with aggressive stage three cancer in May last year.

This weekend she took to Instagram to share a montage video of her time ion hospital over the last year, undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. The star shared photos of friends and family supporting her, as well as photos of the heartbreaking moment she started to lose her hair.

The video shows Amy attending multiple award ceremonies and attending the Strictly Come Dancing live shows, all set to the inspirational soundtrack of The Climb, by Miley Cyrus.

Amy wrote: "These past few weeks and especially days I’ve constantly been thinking this time last year I was having this test, or this appointment. A year ago today it was confirmed what we thought it was but it became reality and my life changed forever when the Dr said we are sorry Amy it’s cancer. I can’t believe it’s been a year and all what my body has been through and achieved.

"A year ago Ben, myself and my twin sister cried together and had to pull ourselves together as we had to break the news to my parents and just knowing the heart ache and worry it was going to cause. I used to lay awake for hours with my mind going to all sorts of places, would I make it to Christmas, would I dance again, how’s Ben going to cope, I don’t want to lose my hair , you name it. I wish I knew then how I would be a year on.

"I told myself constantly this too shall pass and a year on, my hair growing back, my energy getting better and better, back dancing and most importantly spending time with my family and friends and appreciating life."

She added: "To those struggling right now I’m sending you love and strength. To those family and friends who stuck by me I’m forever grateful to you! I know I’m lucky and blessed for another shot at life, here’s to a healthier, better, happier and dancing year ahead! …. Now a gentle reminder have you checked your chest this month? Early detection can save lives."

Friends, family and fans took to the comments section. One said: "You have come so so far and that beautiful smile and strength shines through x."

A second added: "Absolutely proudest and in awe of you and your strength, resilience, drive, determination, courage and unending selflessness."

A third wrote: "Got really choked up watching this. My son’s a twin and he’s now at 3.5 and 2 years in remission. What you and all of your family when through I’m sorry you joined our club. Worst club in the world full of the best people x."

Amy has been told there is currently no cancer left in her body, but she will need monthly injections for the next five years.

Her post comes just a few weeks that after multiple rounds of chemotherapy, doctors told Amy the news that she no longer has cancer in her body. However, she needs monthly injections for the next five years.

Amy has said she is “working hard” to get her body ready for a return to Strictly Come Dancing following her battle. The professional dancer, 33, first found a lump in her breast the day before going to the Maldives on her honeymoon with fellow professional dancer Ben Jones.

She was subsequently diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and had a mastectomy before undergoing chemotherapy.

She told BBC Breakfast: “I can’t believe it’s a year since I found the lump. But I’m just so grateful in the year for the treatment I’ve had, the NHS, and all the charities, everybody that’s helped me to be still here today.”

She added: “I’m just so grateful to get another shot at life. but I never thought in a million years at 32, that I’d be diagnosed with breast cancer. I was living my life to the full on Strictly Come Dancing, I’d just got married, but cancer doesn’t discriminate.”

Dowden is now supporting The Big Help Out, a campaign to showcase how volunteering benefits both communities and the people who take part, and she said: “Unfortunately one in two of us in our lifetime is diagnosed with cancer but charities like Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Young Lives Vs Cancer, Breast Cancer Now, they wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for volunteers.

“And volunteers are the backbone, the heartbeat to all these charities that help fund research, the reason why I’m still alive today, to help support not just those going through it, but their families as well.

“But as a volunteer you get so much pride as well, it helps your mental health, there’s so many benefits to it.”

Asked what has helped her over the past year, she said: “I’ve got amazing friends and family. The oncology unit, the nurses, the breast nurses, and also the public support has been incredible. And I think the goal and the dream to be back on the dance floor as well, because I’ve missed it so, so much.

She added: “I’m working really really hard and getting my body fully back in rehab and physio, I’ve got a brilliant team. So fingers crossed I’ll be back on your screens dancing later this. If Strictly will have me back, I’ll be back.”