Shirley Ballas 'terrified' as she's sent for more cancer tests after doctor's alarm

Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas
Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas -Credit:BBC

Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas has opened up about her 'terrifying' cancer scare as she revealed she was waiting on test results. The 63-year-old judge spoke candidly about living in fear of a diagnosis after the tests, which she was encouraged to attend by Strictly star Amy Dowden after she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

Shirley, who has been head judge on the BBC dance show since 2017, has had three biopsies. She has previously spoken about her decision to have her breast implants removed to aid early detection of any abnormalities.

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

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Shirley was alarmed when doctors discovered something unusual during a routine check. After undergoing a 3D mammogram, she needed a tissue sample taken. Despite the health scare, she remains determined to keep busy and not dwell on potential health issues.

Despite performing self checks regularly, it was a surprise when some abnormalities surfaced in the mammogram scan. She shared: "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."

Shirley opened up about her daunting experience of having a tissue sample taken and the nail-biting wait for results during an interview with 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'."

She also revealed that fellow Strictly star Amy Dowden, who recently prevailed over breast cancer herself, spurred her to get checked. Shirley added: "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."

Heartening other women not to feel embarrassed about these health screenings, she added, "We're our own beautiful machine, and we need our MoT. Check your body, check your breasts. It might save your life."