Strictly’s Amy Dowden reveals she has been diagnosed with breast cancer aged 32 – and admits she doesn’t know if she will be able to rejoin the BBC dance show
Amy Dowden has devastatingly revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32.
The Strictly Come Dancing professional took to her Instagram Stories to share her health update, saying she is ‘determined’ to get back on the dance floor.
She admitted it wasn’t easy to share the news as she discussed whether she will be able to rejoin the BBC dance show for its new series later this year.
She penned: ‘Hey all, I’ve got some news which isn’t easy to share. I’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer but I’m determined to get back on that dance floor before you know it. Welsh love Amy.’
Amy has battled gut condition Crohn’s Disease since she was a child and admitted she has already been through ‘quite a lot’ in her life with her health struggles.
Sad news: Amy Dowden has devastatingly revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer
Health: The Strictly Come Dancing professional, 32, took to her Instagram Stories to share her health update, saying she is ‘determined’ to get back on the dance floor
In an interview about her diagnosis, Amy told how she found a lump in her breast before going on her belated honeymoon with her husband Ben Jones in April.
She told Hello! Magazine of her cancer diagnosis: ‘You just don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you.
‘I hadn’t thought it was possible to get breast cancer at my age. My mum has had breast cancer, but she had it at a later age, in her 50s.’
Amy said it was taking part in the CoppaTrek! last June in support of breast health awareness charity CoppaFeel! that led her to discover her own cancer.
She explained how she realised she doesn’t ‘check her breasts’ and then made a conscious effort to check herself, saying CoppaFeel! has ‘potentially saved her life’.
‘I don’t know how long this lump could have been there before I would have noticed and done something about it,’ she added.
Amy said she found a lump in her right breast in April, the day before she and her husband Ben flew to the Maldives for their belated honeymoon after their wedding last July.
The dancer said she was ‘in shock’ and decided to keep an eye on the lump during her honeymoon, before she went to the doctors when the lump grew on her return home.
Dancing: She admitted it wasn’t easy to share the news as she discussed whether she will be able to rejoin the BBC dance show for its new series later this year (pictured with James Bye)
Lump: Amy explained how she found a lump in her breast before going on her honeymoon with her husband Ben Jones in April
She said she was immediately sent for an emergency referral, where she was devastatingly told that the lump looked ‘suspicious’ and to ‘prepare for the worst’.
What is breast cancer, how many people does it strike and what are the symptoms?
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, though this is rare.
Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast-growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply.
There are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000
After a biopsy, Amy was told she had grade three breast cancer, saying her first question was when she could get back on the dance floor.
Grade three cancer is when the cells look very different to normal breast cells and tend to spread more quickly. The grade describes how a cancer cell looks under a microscope.
It is different to a cancer stage, which describes the size of the cancer and how far it has spread. Amy is yet to find out what stage of cancer she has.
Amy said her cancer has been caught ‘early’ and she is now waiting for more information before she is given a full treatment plan, which will include surgery.
She is now waiting for an MRI scan and a biopsy, after medics found a second lump in her right breast, and she will be given a full prognosis after that step.
Amy said she received heartfelt support from her pals Giovanna and Tom Fletcher when she told them the news, saying they were ‘central’ in her decision to tell her story in a bid to help others.
Tyler West, who appeared on Strictly last year with Dianne Buswell, spoke about Amy’s diagnosis on Wednesday’s Lorraine.
Showing his support, Tyler said: ‘She’s alright, Aims she’s the Welsh dragon, she’s a fighter, so strong, so inspirational, it was a massive shock the system for everyone to everyone this morning.
‘She is incredible Amy and I have no doubt she will be powering through it.’
Amy has dealt with an array of health struggles over the years after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 11.
Crohn’s disease is described by the NHS as a ‘lifelong condition’, which sees parts of the digestive system inflamed.
Among other symptoms, suffers can experience extreme abdominal pain, vomiting, exhaustion and diarrhoea.
In 2019, she revealed her secret battle with Crohn’s disease, with the star speaking out so she could help others suffering with the illness.
Speaking to Hello! magazine at the time, the dancer insisted that she doesn’t ‘want any sympathy’, emphasising that her condition doesn’t ‘define’ her.
Opening up on why she chose to keep her condition from the Strictly crew, she said: ‘When I got my job on Strictly Come Dancing, I didn’t want to be known as ‘Amy with Crohn’s’.
‘I wanted to establish myself as ‘Amy the dancer’ first. But I’ve done two seasons on the show now, and I think it’s important to speak out.’
She continued: ‘It will be a relief that people will finally know, but I don’t want any sympathy. It doesn’t define me, it’s just part of me, and I want this to be a positive story.’
Amy rose to fame on Strictly Come Dancing back in 2017, joining the host of professional dancers on the popular show.
She tied the knot with her husband Ben Jones last July, exchanging vows in front of their family and friends during a romantic ceremony at a five-star wedding venue in Gower Peninsula, South Wales.
Wedding: She tied the knot with her husband Ben Jones last July, exchanging vows during a romantic ceremony at a five-star wedding venue in Gower Peninsula, South Wales
Struggles: In 2019, she revealed her secret battle with Crohn’s disease , with the star speaking out so she could help others suffering with the illness
Speaking about her special day, Amy told Hello! magazine at the time: ‘It was a stunning venue. I always knew I wanted to get married in Wales.
She continued: ‘The day was a celebration of Ben and me.’
The pair were initially due to wed two years ago on July 25 2020 – before the marriage was postponed due to Covid.
Amy and Ben met in 2011, but kept their romance secret for six years – previously admitting they were scared of what their dance teachers would say.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is an agonising digestive condition that blights the lives of 115,000 people in Britain and as many as 1.6 million in the US.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and potentially dangerous weight loss. Magician Dynamo is a famous sufferer.
Eight out of ten patients will need a part of the intestine removed as it becomes so damaged it prevents digestion.
Its cause is still not known and there is currently no cure but some with the condition have considered their diet to be a factor.
However, bacteria is already known to play a major role in causing Crohn’s disease, in addition to genetics and diet.
Conventional treatment is with drugs that suppress the immune system’s production of a protein called TNF, which causes inflammation.
Source: Read Full Article