Shirley Ballas, 58, has achieved the kind of success many aspiring dancers dream about. She began performing competitively as a child – a pursuit that saw her win prestigious dancing championships. The culimination of dancing her career came in 2017 after she replaced Len Goodman as the head judge on Strictly Come dancing. She is no stranger to hard work but she came close to facing an altogther different battle last year. The Strictly star shocked fans when she revealed she had a horrifying health scare.
The strictly star shocked fans last year after she revealed she had a brush with breast cancer.
Recounting her ordeal on social media, the ballroom expert said: “I had a routine check at the doctors and she was not happy with what she felt and saw in my breast.”
The performer was immediately sent to hospital for a mammogram and ultra sound.
According to the NHS, certain changes in the breast can signify breast cancer.
- A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- Discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
- Dimpling on the skin of the breasts
- A rash on or around the nipple
- A change in the appearance of the nipple, such as becoming sunken into the breast
Women may also develop a lump or swelling in either of their armpits, noted the health body.
Ballas’ health scare prompted her to urge her Instagram followers to be vigilant.
She said: “We go about our daily lives always busy and sometimes ignoring our body. If something changes externally or you have any discomfort at all it’s your body telling you “take care of me”‘.
Before signing off, she added: “We have one beautiful body we need to keep it well taken care of. Thank you again to the NHS for being so marvellous”.
According to the NHS, women should consult their GP as soon as possible if they notice any symptoms of breast cancer, such as an unusual lump in their breast or any change in the appearance, feel or shape of their breasts.
“Your GP will examine you. If they think your symptoms need further assessment, they’ll refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic,” explained the health site.
As in Ballas’ case, if a person shows symptoms and has been referred to a specialist breast unit by their GP, they’ll probably be invited to have a mammogram, which is an X-ray of their breasts.
They may also need an ultrasound scan.
If the cancer was detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme, they may need another mammogram or ultrasound scan.
A doctor may suggest that a person only has a breast ultrasound scan if they’re under the age of 35.
This is because younger women have denser breasts, which means a mammogram isn’t as effective as ultrasound in detecting cancer, explained the NHS.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the inside of a woman’s breasts, showing any lumps or abnormalities.
A breast specialist may also suggest a breast ultrasound if they need to know whether a lump in the breast is solid or contains liquid.
The ballroom dancer’s admission was met with an outpouring of support on social media.
One user said: “Oh my gosh Shirley I’m so glad you’re okay! But you’re absolutely right in everything you said there.. we all could do with being more vigilant”.
Another added: “Absolutely, check anything unusual. I noticed something strange from my left breast & after tests “to be on the safe side” cancer was found in my right breast!! Can not fault the NHS & early detection is key!!”.
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