Sarah Harding's Diagnosis: Which Cancer Type Is She Battling, How Dangerous?
|Sarah pictured when she turned on Princes Risborough's Christmas lights (Photo: Buck Free Express)|
Who is Sarah Harding?
Sarah Harding is a singer and actor who found fame in the legendary pop band Girls Aloud.
She sang alongside Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh, but the group split in 2013, just a year after they reunited for their ten-year anniversary.
|Sarah found fame in legendary pop band Girls AloudCredit: Getty Images.|
She has also had roles in St Trinian’s in 2007 and BBC television film Freefall.
In 2011 Sarah went to rehab for depression, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug abuse.
She also appeared briefly in Coronation Street in 2015 for a few episodes playing Joni – the wife of returning character Robert Preston.
Sarah has made guest appearances on TV shows such as Tumble, Celebrity MasterChef, Dating in the Dark, and Celebrity Juice.
Away from the screens, she has also modeled including Ultimo lingerie.
Sarah Harding says Christmas 2020 was ‘probably my last’ as cancer spreads to spine
Sarah Harding was told by a doctor that Christmas 2020 “would probably be her last” following her breast cancer diagnosis.
In August, the Girls Aloud star shared a selfie from hospital to social media as she announced that the cancer had spread to other parts of her body.
In an extract from her memoir Hear Me Out shared in The Times, the singer revealed that she underwent a mastectomy and intensive chemotherapy after her diagnosis in August, according to Independent UK.
While it initially “seemed like the chemo was working”, she writes, the cancer has spread further, with a secondary tumour growing on either the base of her spine or her brain.
“In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last,” Harding said. “I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that. Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now.”
The singer, who hadn’t posted on her social media accounts since the start of December, took to Instagram to update her fans.
“Hi everyone! I hope you are keeping safe and as well as possible with everything that’s going on. I know I’m not really that present on here which I promise I’ll try to get a bit better at, as honestly it means the world to me when I come on and see all your well wishes. Thank you for the love and support, on bad days it helps me so much. So here’s a little update from me… Mum, the dogs and I had a really lovely but quiet Christmas together, which was different to my usual, but seemed a fitting way to end such a strange year. And since then, in between treatments and hospital visits I’ve managed to finish my book! I can’t believe I’ve actually gone and done it and it’s now at the printers! I’m so excited for it to come out:
'I can’t rewrite history; all I can do is be honest and wear my heart on my sleeve. It’s really the only way I know. I want to show people the real me. Or perhaps remind them. Because, somewhere - amongst the nightclubs, the frocks and hairdos, the big chart hits, and the glamour of being a popstar - the other Sarah Harding got utterly lost. She’s the one who’s been forgotten. And all I want is for you to hear her out.’
I called the book ‘Hear Me Out’ because it’s the title of the song I wrote on the second Girls Aloud album and I’ve always really loved it. The lyrics have always meant a lot to me. It’s been lovely revisiting our songs, looking back over photos and writing down memories from my last 39 years. I really hope you might enjoy reading about them too. There’s a link in my biog if you’d like to order a copy. There are some signed ones available too. It’s coming out on March 18 and I can’t wait… argh!!!
Sending you all lots of love, S x”
She said she called the book Hear Me Out because it’s the title of the song she wrote on the second Girls Aloud album and she’s “always loved it.”
“The lyrics have always meant a lot to me. It’s been lovely revisiting our songs, looking back over photos, and writing down memories from my last 39 years,” she said.
She also revealed that she nearly died of sepsis in the hospital and had to be put into a coma for two weeks.
Ms Harding first shot to fame in 2002 after Girls Aloud topped the charts with Sound of the Underground.
After the group disbanded in 2013, the singer decided to focus on her acting career, having previously starred in St Trinians and BBC short film Freefall.
She released her debut solo single Threads in 2015, and scored a part as Joni Preston in Coronation Street that same year.
Ms Harding has also starred in a number of reality shows, including The Jump, Celebrity Masterchef and Celebrity Big Brother - the latter she won in 2017.
|Photo: Laguna Lang Co.|
What is breast cancer? The danger of breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women, according to Mayo Clinic.
Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped created advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
• A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
• Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
• Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
• A newly inverted nipple
• Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
• Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
If you find a lump or other change in your breast — even if a recent mammogram was normal — make an appointment with your doctor for prompt evaluation.
Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. Cells may spread (metastasize) through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.
Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.
Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it's not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do. It's likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.
Inherited breast cancer
Doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.
A number of inherited mutated genes that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer have been identified. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), both of which significantly increase the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or other cancers, your doctor may recommend a blood test to help identify specific mutations in BRCA or other genes that are being passed through your family.
Consider asking your doctor for a referral to a genetic counselor, who can review your family health history. A genetic counselor can also discuss the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing to assist you with shared decision-making.
A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you'll get breast cancer. But having one or even several breast cancer risk factors doesn't necessarily mean you'll develop breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than simply being women.
Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:
• Being female. Women are much more likely than men are to develop breast cancer.
• Increasing age. Your risk of breast cancer increases as you age.
• A personal history of breast conditions. If you've had a breast biopsy that found lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast, you have an increased risk of breast cancer.
• A personal history of breast cancer. If you've had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
• A family history of breast cancer. If your mother, sister or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly at a young age, your risk of breast cancer is increased. Still, the majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
• Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed from parents to children. The most well-known gene mutations are referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes can greatly increase your risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they don't make cancer inevitable.
• Radiation exposure. If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.
• Obesity. Being obese increases your risk of breast cancer.
• Beginning your period at a younger age. Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.
• Beginning menopause at an older age. If you began menopause at an older age, you're more likely to develop breast cancer.
• Having your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
• Having never been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do women who have had one or more pregnancies.
• Postmenopausal hormone therapy. Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer decreases when women stop taking these medications.
• Drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.
How many people die of breast cancer each year?
More women are diagnosed with breast cancer than any other type of cancer, besides skin cancer. This year, an estimated 281,550 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 49,290 women will be diagnosed with non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. From 2008 to 2017, invasive breast cancer in women increased by half a percent each year. An estimated 2,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.
It is estimated that 44,130 deaths (43,600 women and 530 men) from breast cancer will occur this year.
The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The average 5-year survival rate for women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 90%. The average 10-year survival rate for women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 84%.
If the invasive breast cancer is located only in the breast, the 5-year survival rate of women with this disease is 99%. Sixty-three percent (63%) of women with breast cancer are diagnosed with this stage. Adolescent and young adult females ages 15 to 39 in the United States are less likely to be diagnosed at an early stage of breast cancer (47%) compared to women older than 65 (68%). This may be because most breast cancer screening does not begin until age 40 unless someone is at a higher risk, according to Cancer.Net
If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 86%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 28%. Survival rates are about 9% to 10% lower in Black women compared to white women.
Six percent (6%) of women have cancer that has spread outside of the breast and regional lymph nodes at the time they are first diagnosed with breast cancer. This is called "de novo" metastatic breast cancer. Even if the cancer is found at a more advanced stage, new treatments help many people with breast cancer maintain a good quality of life for some time.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the United States after lung cancer. However, the number of women who have died of breast cancer has decreased by 41% from 1989 to 2018 thanks to early detection and treatment improvements. As a result, more than 403,000 breast cancer deaths were prevented during that period.
Since 2007, the number of women age 50 and over who have died of breast cancer has continued to decrease. The number of women under age 50 who have died of breast cancer has stayed steady. From 2013 to 2018, the death rate for women with cancer dropped by 1% each year.
Currently, there are more than 3.8 million women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
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