Girls Aloud stars Cheryl and Nadine Coyle lead the celebrity tributes to Sarah Harding


Sarah Harding’s former Girls Aloud bandmates led the celebrity tributes on Wednesday morning after the singer revealed she is battling advanced breast cancer. 

The hard-partying Girls Aloud singer, 38, revealed her shocking diagnosis to fans on Instagram, but vowed to ‘fight as hard as she could’ after the cancer ‘spread to other parts of her body.’ 

Taking to social media shortly after the announcement, pop stars Cheryl and Nadine Coyle – who enjoyed more than decade of chart-topping success with Sarah in Girls Aloud – reached out to their former bandmate. 

Emotional: Sarah Harding’s former Girls Aloud bandmates led the celebrity tributes on Wednesday morning after the singer revealed she is batting cancer

Devastating: The singer made the admission  in an Instagram post shared from her hospital bed

Devastating: The singer made the admission  in an Instagram post shared from her hospital bed

Posting on Twitter, Cheryl, 37, shared a single broken heart emoji, while Nadine, 35, insisted she will continue to support her old friend during the crisis. 

She wrote: ‘I love you!! You have always been able to achieve miracles when needed!! I am here for the all ways & always will be!!!’ 

Meanwhile Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins wrote: ‘Sending HUGE ❤️❤️❤️ Stay Strong xx We’re all behind you xx.’

TOWIE’s Jess Wright also responded with a flurry of heart emojis, while singer Michelle Gayle wrote: ‘Love you honey. xxx’

We're with you:  Posting on Twitter, Cheryl, 37, shared a single broken heart emoji, while Nadine, 35, insisted she will continue to support her old friend during the crisis

We’re with you:  Posting on Twitter, Cheryl, 37, shared a single broken heart emoji, while Nadine, 35, insisted she will continue to support her old friend during the crisis

Old times: Cheryl and Nadine enjoyed more than a decade of chart-topping success with Sarah in Girls Aloud (Pictured L-R: Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Kimberley Walsh in 2012)

Old times: Cheryl and Nadine enjoyed more than a decade of chart-topping success with Sarah in Girls Aloud (Pictured L-R: Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Kimberley Walsh in 2012)

Bob Geldof’s daughter Fifi wrote: ‘Oh my angel… I’m so sorry to hear this awful news!!! Fight hard and look after yourself – please shout if I can help at all. Much love to you.’

Choreographer Arthur Gourounlian – who is married to Big Brother star Brian Dowling – commented: ‘Je suit désolé. This is braking my heart. Sending you all my love and here for you always, stay strong and stay positive ma cherie.’

X Factor star and Sarah’s Celebrity Big Brother housemate Amelia Lily penned: ‘Hope you’re OK Sarah, keep fighting thinking of you and sending you lots of love.’ 

Great British Bake Off star Candice Brown added: ‘Sending so much love to you.’

Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna also wrote: ‘Sending you lots of love Sarah,’ along with a love heart emoji. 

 

Reaching out: Stars including Ian 'H' Watkins, Jess Wright, Fifi Geldof and choreographer Arthur Gourounlian wished Sarah all the best following her revelation

Reaching out: Stars including Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Jess Wright, Fifi Geldof and choreographer Arthur Gourounlian wished Sarah all the best following her revelation 

Elsewhere X Factor star and Sarah’s Celebrity Big Brother housemate Amelia Lily paid tribute to the Girls Aloud star on Twitter, writing: ‘Hope you’re OK Sarah, keep fighting thinking of you and sending you lots of love.’ 

Great British Bake Off star Candice Brown added: ‘Sending so much love to you.’

Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna also wrote: ‘Sending you lots of love Sarah,’ along with a love heart emoji. 

Emotive: Addressing the issue on Wednesday's edition of Loose Women, panelist Carol McGiffin drew parallels with her own cancer battle in 2014

Emotive: Addressing the issue on Wednesday’s edition of Loose Women, panelist Carol McGiffin drew parallels with her own cancer battle in 2014 

Moving: Amelia Lily, Candice Brown, Rebecca Adlington and Gemma Merna offered their support on social media

Moving: Amelia Lily, Candice Brown, Rebecca Adlington and Gemma Merna offered their support on social media 

Sharing a snap from her hospital bed on Wednesday morning, Sarah wrote: ‘Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these uncertain times.

‘I’ve not posted on here for so long, thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on me, it really does mean a lot.

‘I feel now is the right time to share what’s been going on. There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes.

‘Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body.’ 

Sarah continued: ‘I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can. I understand this might be shocking to read on social media and that really isn’t my intention. 

‘But last week it was mentioned online that I had been seen in hospital, so I feel now is the time to let people know what’s going on and this is the best way I can think of to do so. 

'Sarah our thoughts are genuinely with you': Kaye Adams also addressed the issue while hosting Wednesday's Loose Women

‘Sarah our thoughts are genuinely with you’: Kaye Adams also addressed the issue while hosting Wednesday’s Loose Women 

‘My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes. 

‘I am doing my very best to keep positive and will keep you updated here with how I’m getting on. In the meantime I hope you’ll all understand and respect my request for privacy during this difficult time. Sending you all so much love….xx.’

Addressing the issue on Wednesday’s edition of Loose Women, panelist Carol McGiffin drew parallels with her own cancer battle in 2014.   

Tragic: Sarah took to Instagram on Tuesday to reveal her diagnosis, and told fans she'd been battling the disease for several months with weekly chemotherapy sessions

Tragic: Sarah took to Instagram on Tuesday to reveal her diagnosis, and told fans she'd been battling the disease for several months with weekly chemotherapy sessions

Tragic: Sarah took to Instagram on Tuesday to reveal her diagnosis, and told fans she’d been battling the disease for several months with weekly chemotherapy sessions

Good times: Sarah was famed for her wild party lifestyle at the height of her fame with Girls Aloud (pictured in 2005)

Good times: Sarah was famed for her wild party lifestyle at the height of her fame with Girls Aloud (pictured in 2005) 

The 60-year old, who underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions after finding a lump on her breast, said: ‘I feel for Sarah, it is actually the hardest thing [revealing your diagnosis]. 

‘It’s hard enough getting the diagnosis, but when you get used to that it’s then having to tell other people. 

‘It’s difficult, I only told my family and close friends but with every single one of them I had to make a real effort to think it through. ‘So for her having to do that and tell the world and put it on social media straight away I feel for her.’ 

Difficult time: Sarah was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and is undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions

Difficult time: Sarah was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and is undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions

Sarah’s Instagram post in full 

Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these uncertain times. 

I’ve not posted on here for so long, thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on me, it really does mean a lot. 

I feel now is the right time to share what’s been going on. There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes. 

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body. 

I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can. I understand this might be shocking to read on social media and that really isn’t my intention. 

But last week it was mentioned online that I had been seen in hospital, so I feel now is the time to let people know what’s going on and this is the best way I can think of to do so. 

My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes. 

I am doing my very best to keep positive and will keep you updated here with how I’m getting on. 

In the meantime I hope you’ll all understand and respect my request for privacy during this difficult time. Sending you all so much love….xx 

Co-panelist Kaye Adams added: ‘I don’t want to be insensitive talking about someone’s experiences with cancer. When my grandma was diagnosed with cancer a long time ago she didn’t say the word, she called it the big C. 

‘So while I feel bad bringing it up, Sarah has said she is receiving the best treatment and has paid tribute to the staff who are treating her.’ 

She added: ‘Sarah our thoughts are genuinely with you.’  

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year

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. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?

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 ‘out of control’.

Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, 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.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  • Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under the microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.

If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.

How is breast cancer treated?

Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.

  • Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
  • Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying
  • Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.

How successful is treatment?

The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.

The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk or www.cancerhelp.org.uk



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