BBC Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas opens up on 'terrifying' cancer scare

Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas
Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas has opened up about her 'terrifying' cancer scare -Credit:ITV

Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas has opened up about her 'terrifying' cancer scare.

The 63-year-old judge revealed she has undergone testing for the disease and is living in fear of a potential diagnosis, reports the Mirror.

Ballas, who has been a fixture on the BBC dance show since 2017, has had three biopsies and has previously spoken about her decision to have her breast implants removed to aid doctors in spotting any abnormalities.

The TV personality also shared that her biggest fear is dying before her 87 year old mother, Audrey, who herself battled colon cancer in 2018 but is now in remission. Cancer has touched Ballas' family before, with her grandmother, grandfather and aunt all having suffered from the disease.

Shirley Ballas on the set of Strictly Come Dancing
Shirley has been a judge on Strictly Come Dancing since 2017 -Credit:BBC

Shirley, a lifelong dancer with numerous awards to her name, was alarmed when doctors discovered something unusual during a 3D mammogram and needed to take a tissue sample.

Despite the health scare, she remains determined to keep busy and avoid dwelling on potential health issues.

Shirley Ballas has opened up about her recent health scare, revealing the anxiety she felt during the process of having a tissue sample taken for testing.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, she said: "It's been terrifying, to have the needle go in your body to numb it before the biopsy. Every time the phone rings, I think, 'Oh, maybe they are my results'."

The Strictly Come Dancing judge also shared how fellow star Amy Dowden, who battled breast cancer last year, encouraged her to get checked.

Shirley Ballas with bandages following a biposy
At the end of the week, Shirley shared a post biopsy selfie alongside a health call to action -Credit:Instagram/shirleyballas

She recalled: "My dear student and friend Amy said to me, 'You must never miss a mammogram'. So when this particular invite came in I could have put it off until the summer when it is a bit quieter. But I'm glad I didn't."

"I did it at a mobile NHS unit in a Sainsbury's car park, and three days later they called me back to go into King's College Hospital in Camberwell. I was shocked as I do self checks, and I'd had a self check with another nurse a few weeks before for something else and she didn't feel anything. But the mammogram scanners can pick up small abnormalities."

"So I went to the hospital and the doctor said, 'I don't want to alarm you but we found something and we're not sure what it is." she recounted, before urging other women to keep up with their health screenings.

She emphasized the importance of regular check-ups, saying, "We're our own beautiful machine, and we need our MoT. Check your body, check your breasts. It might save your life."

On Friday, Shirley took to Instagram Stories to share a photo of herself in bandages, reinforcing her message about the importance of mammograms: "Urging all women do not miss your mammogram. I went for mine, ended up going for a second one and a biopsy. Local anesthetic biopsy done. Now waiting for results."

She continued, acknowledging Amy Dowden's influence on her proactive approach to health: "Amy Dowden you ran through my mind. The importance of not putting it off. Go and get tested. Plus self breast check regularly."

Amy responded with support, posting, "Always here for you! Important message here all from @shirleyballas."

The Strictly community was taken aback last year when Amy, the Welsh professional dancer, announced her cancer diagnosis.

The illness meant she had to withdraw from performing in the 2023 series as she dedicated time to her treatment.

Earlier this year, Amy shared the uplifting news that her treatments had been effective, much to the joy of her supporters.

In a heartfelt social media update in February, she expressed her overwhelming relief: "NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE! Words I dreamed of! My biggest accomplishment yet! I won't be getting the all clear for 5 years especially with a hormone fed cancer. But it was all worth it. Words I never thought I'd hear at one point. So grateful for all the care I received and continue to have. To my husband, family and friends who supported me unconditionally and to you guys! Thank you! ".

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