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Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding diagnosed with breast cancer

Former wild child Sarah Harding has revealed she’s been diagnosed with ‘advanced’ breast cancer.

The Girls Aloud singer, 38, shared her shocking diagnosis with fans on Instagram on Wednesday, but vowed that she was ‘fighting as hard as she could’ after the cancer ‘spread to other parts of her body.’

The star disappeared from the public eye …. years ago after achieving notoriety through her wild antics, explosive love affairs and a rehab stint in 2011.

Sad: Former wild child Sarah Harding has revealed she’s been diagnosed with ‘advanced’ breast cancer and it has spread to ‘other parts of her body’

Beloved: The singer is best known as a member of the British pop band Girls Aloud (pictured centre with L-R Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Cheryl in 2009)

Beloved: The singer is best known as a member of the British pop band Girls Aloud (pictured centre with L-R Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Cheryl in 2009)

Sharing a snap from her hospital bed, 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.’

Party girl: Sarah is known for her wild nights out as a member of pop band Girls Aloud, and her life was fraught with love affairs and drama, including a rehab stint in 2011 (pictured in 2006)

Party girl: Sarah is known for her wild nights out as a member of pop band Girls Aloud, and her life was fraught with love affairs and drama, including a rehab stint in 2011 (pictured in 2006)

Fan favourite: She also became a favourite pin-up girl for the lads' mags, appearing in a racy editorials for FHM and Arena Magazines, alongside bandmate Cheryl

Fan favourite: She also became a favourite pin-up girl for the lads’ mags, appearing in a racy editorials for FHM and Arena Magazines, alongside bandmate Cheryl

Kind: In her post, Sarah credited her 'amazing' mum Marie (pictured in 2013), her close friends and NHS staff with supporting her through her health battle

Kind: In her post, Sarah credited her ‘amazing’ mum Marie (pictured in 2013), her close friends and NHS staff with supporting her through her health battle

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. 

‘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.’

Distant: Sarah has been relatively absent from social media for the past two years, though did briefly return to Instagram in May (pictured in January 2018)

Distant: Sarah has been relatively absent from social media for the past two years, though did briefly return to Instagram in May (pictured in January 2018)

For years Sarah was known for her hard-partying ways, and was dubbed ‘Hardcore Harding’ by her band mates and referred to as the ‘caner’ of the group, as she was often seen swigging from whisky bottles and stumbling out of nightclubs

She checked into rehab in 2011 after ‘hitting rock bottom’ following her split from fiancé Tom Crane for ‘depression and alcohol addiction.’  

The Sun reported at the time that she turned to alcohol to help her through the painful period.

A source told the publication: ‘She’s been through a traumatic time in her personal life and had to honour her work commitments on top. She needs some time out to clear her head.’

‘Some of her closest friends had suggested she seek help over the last few months, but she refused,’ a source told the Sun.

‘Splitting from Tom has played a huge part in her decision to seek help. She just needs to get herself back on track emotionally. She had hit rock bottom.’ 

Support: Sarah's post was soon flooded with messages, with bandmates Cheryl (top)  and Nadine Coyle offering their support

Support: Sarah’s post was soon flooded with messages, with bandmates Cheryl (top)  and Nadine Coyle offering their support

 

Sarah’s post was soon flooded with supportive comments from fans, with bandmate Cheryl posting a love heart emoji.

Nadine Coyle also tweeted: ‘I love you!!! You have always been able to achieve miracles when needed!! I am here for the all the way & always will be!!!’

Steps Ian ‘H’ Watkins also 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’

Moving: Following Sarah's announcement, a flurry of stars rushed to share their support

Moving: Following Sarah’s announcement, a flurry of stars rushed to share their support

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.

On a break: It was reported late last year that Sarah had 'quit fame' and gone into hiding following an unsuccessful music comeback

On a break: It was reported late last year that Sarah had ‘quit fame’ and gone into hiding following an unsuccessful music comeback

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 

After overcoming her demons and parting ways with Girls Aloud, Sarah has maintained a low profile in recent years and changed her Twitter bio to read ‘taking a timeout’ last year.

In May she returned to the social media for the first time since July 2019, as she shared a series of tweets after ex Chad Johnson claimed last year that ‘nobody has really heard from her.’ 

In April, her Chad said that he doesn’t know where she is and nobody has ‘really heard from her.’

They embarked on a brief romance after meeting in the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2017, but split after struggling with the long-distance aspect of their relationship. 

It was also reported late last year that Sarah had ‘quit fame’ and gone into hiding following an unsuccessful music comeback.

A source claimed the star no longer has a manager or publicist, and her Twitter and Instagram accounts had been scarcely used.

They also told The Mirror: ‘She has nothing going on work-wise right now and hasn’t had anything in quite a while.’  

Sarah shot to fame as a member of the pop band Girls Aloud in 2002, which were formed on the ITV talent series Popstars: The Rivals.

After seven years storming the charts, in February 2009, the group signed a new record deal with Fascination that would have seen the group release another three studio albums.

However, in July that year, they announced that they were taking a year-long hiatus to pursue their own projects, with the break lasting three years instead.

In April 2010, Sarah told MailOnline she’s enjoying taking some time off from the band, but insisted, unlike Cheryl or Nadine Coyle, she is not interested in carving herself a solo career.

‘Can I just put this on record, I’m not going solo. I read somewhere that I was, but I’m not, can I just straighten that out,’ she said at the Empire Film Awards.

At the time, the actress, who starred in both of the St Trinian’s movies, added that she was in secret talks about doing more TV and film work.

She explained: ‘I still want to do music too [with Girls Aloud] but I want to involve myself in more film work.’

The songstress’ contributed to St Trinian’s soundtrack with singles Too Bad, Make It Easy, a cover of David Bowie’s Boys Keep Swinging.

Girls Aloud reunited between 2012 and 2013 before Sarah changed her mind and decided to produce her own album.

Her EP Threads was released in August 2015, which failed to earn a spot on the main UK music charts but managed to score number two on the UK Physical Chart.

The thespian went on to star in TV shows such as Coronation Street and Celebrity MasterChef that same year, and even took part in competition shows Tumble and The Jump in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

On cloud nine: Sarah made a triumphant return to screens on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, where she found love with US reality star Chad Johnson (pictured)

On cloud nine: Sarah made a triumphant return to screens on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, where she found love with US reality star Chad Johnson (pictured)

Racy: Their steamy romance, which saw them engage in intimate acts on TV, set tongues wagging as the belter had a boyfriend of four weeks at the time

Racy: Their steamy romance, which saw them engage in intimate acts on TV, set tongues wagging as the belter had a boyfriend of four weeks at the time

Sarah made a triumphant return to screens on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, where she found love with US reality star Chad Johnson for just three months – which set tongues wagging as the singer had a boyfriend of four weeks at the time.

Confirming their split at the time, she said: ‘It is with sadness that I can now confirm my relationship with Chad is over.

‘The distance has proved too much of an obstacle even though we both tried to make it work.

‘I wish him all the best for the future and thank him for the memories we shared during a very interesting summer.’

Emotional: During her stint, she broke down in the Diary Room when she was hit with accusations she was an 'attention seeker' and 'unstable'

Emotional: During her stint, she broke down in the Diary Room when she was hit with accusations she was an ‘attention seeker’ and ‘unstable’

Tough times: After being reduced to tears by her housemates, it was claimed the socialite was being monitored by health experts while in the house

Tough times: After being reduced to tears by her housemates, it was claimed the socialite was being monitored by health experts while in the house

Following Sarah’s announcement, the Loose Women panel offered their own words of support, while also reflecting on their own experiences with cancer.

Carol McGiffin – who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 – admitted the hardest moment came when she had to tell loved ones about her diagnosis.

She said: ‘I really feel for Sarah it is the hardest thing, its hard enough getting the diagnosis you get used to that but then you tell other people. 

‘I told my family and close friends but with every one of them I had to really think about it so for her to tell the world on a public forum I really feel for her. it is difficult, when I told Denise it was difficult.’

Denise Welch added: ‘I remember we met carol for a drink… she looked fit and well and then she said she had breast cancer, and I burst into tears. 

‘I felt bad because she wasn’t and was saying it’s alright babes it’s alright… I was passionately proud of how she dealt with everything with her treatment and recovery.’ 

Kaye Adams ended the discussion by saying: ‘Sarah our thoughts are genuinely with you.’ 

Britain’s most glamorous hell-raiser: How Girls Aloud’s ‘Hardcore Harding’ became infamous for wild-partying, explosive love affairs and stints in rehab – but now faces a battle against cancer 

As the singer announced her breast cancer battle on Wednesday, MailOnline takes a look at the singer’s life throughout the years, which has seen her top the music charts, become known for her party girl image, win Celebrity Big Brother, and battle depression and alcohol addiction.

Sarah Harding shot to fame as one fifth of uber-successful girl group, Girls Aloud, formed on 2002 reality show, Popstars: The Rivals.

She was raised with her two half brothers in Ascot, Berkshire and following in her musician dad John Hardman’s footsteps by striking up an interest in performing from an early age.

Pals: Sarah shot to fame in 2002 when she became a member of the pop band Girls Aloud, through talent series Popstars: The Rivals (pictured at the time)

Pals: Sarah shot to fame in 2002 when she became a member of the pop band Girls Aloud, through talent series Popstars: The Rivals (pictured at the time)

Throwback: After studying hair and beauty at Stockport College, the media personality worked many jobs before finding her feet as an artist (pictured in 2002)

Throwback: After studying hair and beauty at Stockport College, the media personality worked many jobs before finding her feet as an artist (pictured in 2002)

Party: Dubbed 'Hardcore Harding' and referred to as the 'caner' of the group the star was often photographed swigging from whisky bottles and stumbling out of nightclubs (pictured 2007)

Party: Dubbed ‘Hardcore Harding’ and referred to as the ‘caner’ of the group the star was often photographed swigging from whisky bottles and stumbling out of nightclubs (pictured 2007)

After studying hair and beauty at Stockport College, the media personality worked many jobs before finding her feet as an artist – including jobs as a nightclub promoter, a Pizza Hut waitress, a van driver, a debt collector and even a BT telephone operator.

She finally pursued her musical passion in her early 20s when she auditioned for both Fame Academy and Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, before getting her shot at stardom on the ITV show.

Winning a place in the band as a fresh-faced 21-year-old alongside Cheryl Tweedy, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Nadine Coyle, she was catapulted into the limelight when they scooped the Christmas number one single with Sound of the Underground.

Popstar party: Fun-loving Sarah became a tabloid favourite after living in Primrose Hill, where other celebrity residents included the ultimate party girl Kate Moss (pictured 2006)

Popstar party: Fun-loving Sarah became a tabloid favourite after living in Primrose Hill, where other celebrity residents included the ultimate party girl Kate Moss (pictured 2006)

Fan favourite: She also became a favourite pin-up girl for the lads' mags, appearing in a racy editorials for FHM and Arena Magazines, alongside bandmate Cheryl

Blonde beauty: The star sizzled in a plunging dress in one of her many lads' mag covers

Fan favourite: She also became a favourite pin-up girl for the lads’ mags, appearing in a racy editorials for FHM and Arena Magazines, alongside bandmate Cheryl

The musician toured the nation as part of the UK’s biggest girl bands from 2002 until 2013 and quickly became known for her party girl image as well her her hits.

Dubbed ‘Hardcore Harding’ by her band mates and referred to as the ‘caner’ of the group the star was often photographed swigging from whisky bottles and stumbling out of nightclubs.

In 2007 she was photographed swigging from a bottle of scotch whisky after the NME Awards in London and, at a separate event that year, appeared a little worse for wear as she stumbled around on the phone while holding a champagne glass.

When she wasn’t hitting up the capital’s A-list haunts like Mahiki and Gilgamesh or attending London Fashion Week, Sarah was partying in Ibiza with her then DJ boyfriend Tom Crane and friends.

After splitting with fiance Tom in September 2011, Sarah described herself as hitting ‘rock bottom’.

This concerned her band mates Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts who recommended she seek professional help.

Hard times: Describing herself as 'such a mess', in October 2011 Sarah spent a stint in a US clinic to battle alcohol and sleeping pill addiction (pictured in 2005)

Hard times: Describing herself as ‘such a mess’, in October 2011 Sarah spent a stint in a US clinic to battle alcohol and sleeping pill addiction (pictured in 2005)

Describing herself as ‘such a mess’, from October that year Sarah spent a stint in a US clinic to battle alcohol and sleeping pill addiction.

‘I’ve been told by those close to me that was when I hit my worst,’ she said.

‘I was crying hysterically. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, terrified – my emotions were all over the place.’

In July 2009, Girls Aloud took a hiatus to pursue other projects, which lasted until 2012.

Throughout their ten year reign in the charts, Girls Aloud were dogged by rumours of secret feuds within the band, with Cheryl, Nicola and Kimberley forming a notably closer bond.

Split: After splitting with fiance Tom Crane in September 2011, Sarah described herself as hitting 'rock bottom' and entered rehab to battle alcohol and sleeping pill addiction (above in 2011)

Split: After splitting with fiance Tom Crane in September 2011, Sarah described herself as hitting ‘rock bottom’ and entered rehab to battle alcohol and sleeping pill addiction (above in 2011)

On the mend: Sarah admitted she was 'crying hysterically' when she hit rock bottom before entering rehab (pictured following her rehab stint)

On the mend: Sarah admitted she was ‘crying hysterically’ when she hit rock bottom before entering rehab (pictured following her rehab stint) 

Nadine has previously claimed their split was due to the friction between them because she was given more lines to sing – although she has since ended her feud with Kimberley.

Kimberley has also said to MailOnline in November 2019: Cheryl, Nicola and I… we were just very close. I just don’t click with the other girls.

‘There is honestly no rift, we just didn’t click in the same way with Nadine and Sarah that we’d want to see each other every week. It was more that we were work friends.’

Alongside her singing career with the band, Sarah pursued acting and appeared in the St Trinian’s films and Run For Your Wife alongside Danny Dyer.

Drama: Throughout their ten year reign in the charts, Girls Aloud were dogged by rumours of secret feuds within the band, with Cheryl, Nicola and Kimberley forming a notably closer bond

Drama: Throughout their ten year reign in the charts, Girls Aloud were dogged by rumours of secret feuds within the band, with Cheryl, Nicola and Kimberley forming a notably closer bond 

In 2015, Sarah embarked on her own solo career, releasing Threads, which failed to chart.

That year she also appeared in Coronation Street as Joni Preston, the wife of Robert Preston, with the star making a number of guest appearances in the summer.

She also competed on BBC gymnastics show Tumble in 2014 where she placed third and Celebrity MasterChef in 2015.

In 2016 she competed on Channel 4 series The Jump but had to withdraw after tearing a ligament in her knee during a training session.

The star also appeared in a UK tour of Ghost The Musical but was replaced midway through the run after pulling out due to her painful The Jump injury.

Film debut: Sarah appeared in the 2007 film St Trinian's (pictured) as a school band member

Film debut: Sarah appeared in the 2007 film St Trinian’s (pictured) as a school band member

Branching out: She also appeared in the critically-panned comedy Run For Your Wife opposite Danny Dyer in 2011

Branching out: She also appeared in the critically-panned comedy Run For Your Wife opposite Danny Dyer in 2011

Going solo: Her EP Threads was released in August 2015, which failed to earn a spot on the main UK music charts but managed to score number two on the UK Physical Chart (pictured 2015)

Going solo: Her EP Threads was released in August 2015, which failed to earn a spot on the main UK music charts but managed to score number two on the UK Physical Chart (pictured 2015)

Triple threat: Alongside her singing career with the band, Sarah pursued acting and appeared in Coronation Street in 2015 as Joni Preston (pictured)

Triple threat: Alongside her singing career with the band, Sarah pursued acting and appeared in Coronation Street in 2015 as Joni Preston (pictured)

In August 2017, Sarah was one of the more high-profile names to join the 20th series of Celebrity Big Brother, which she won.

The star set tongues wagging on the show with her steamy romance with American reality star Chad Johnson, which ended acrimoniously shortly afterwards. The media personality has maintained a low profile in recent years and changed her Twitter bio to read ‘taking a timeout’ last year.

In April, her ex-boyfriend Chad, 33, said that he doesn’t know where she is and nobody has ‘really heard from her’ after it was reported last year she had ‘quit fame’ to go into hiding.

Wow! In 2017 she joined an array of stars in the Celebrity Big Brother house, and set tongues wagging on the show with her steamy romance with American reality star Chad Johnson

Wow! In 2017 she joined an array of stars in the Celebrity Big Brother house, and set tongues wagging on the show with her steamy romance with American reality star Chad Johnson

Champion: She went onto be crowned the show's last female winner before the show was axed in 2018

Champion: She went onto be crowned the show’s last female winner before the show was axed in 2018

In May, she returned to the social media for the first time since July 2019, sparking a delighted reaction from fans, as shared a series of tweets after ex Chad Johnson claimed that ‘nobody has really heard from her’.

The artist’s first post showed a gif of a T-Rex reaching out his arms saying: ‘I miss you this much’.

Captioning the tweet, she penned: ‘Lmfao….@taskmaster….#splatchat’ with several prayer hand emojis.

Following her initial dinosaur inspired post, the blonde beauty was met with comments from delighted fans who missed her during her ‘timeout.’

The songstress then replied to fans: ‘Fankooo lovelies. Missed you all…. Hope Ur all well and staying safe xxx’

And she was not done there, the Promise singer then celebrated by Star Wars Day by adding ‘#MayThe4thBeWithYou,’ before telling fans she was a ‘new found fan girl’ of the franchise.

Finally, Sarah retweeted a post from a Girls Aloud fan that said: ’15 years ago today #GirlsAloud opened up their amazing debut Tour ‘What Will The Neighbours Say?’. What’s your favourite track from the album?’ 

If you have been affected by this story, call Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 00 00. 

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

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk