Kimberley Walsh says she’s been speaking to Sarah Harding ‘all the time’ amid her cancer diagnosis

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Kimberley Walsh has revealed she’s been in regular contact with her Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding as she battles cancer.

Speaking on the red carpet on Wednesday at the premiere of her new musical Sleepless, Kimberley admitted she is ‘devastated’ for her friend.   

Sarah announced on Twitter last week that she is undergoing chemotherapy, telling fans that the cancer has spread to other parts of her body.  

Friendship: Kimberley Walsh has revealed she's been in regular contact with her Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding as she battles cancer

Friendship: Kimberley Walsh has revealed she’s been in regular contact with her Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding as she battles cancer

‘I am completely devastated, it’s been really, really tough, but speaking to her a lot helps and keeping that contact,’ Kimberley told The Sun on Wednesday.

‘She knows we’re there for her every step of the way. She’s a strong girl and I love her so much.’

Kimberley is starring in Sleepless: A Musical Romance at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre and she added that she’s keen for all of her Girls Aloud bandmates to come and watch her performance.

‘Hopefully the girls will come down at some point to watch,’ she said.

Sarah revealed her battle with breast cancer in an emotional social media post last week and shared that the cancer had ‘spread to other parts of her body.’  

Battle: Sarah announced on Twitter last week that she is undergoing chemotherapy, telling fans that the cancer has spread to other parts of her body

Battle: Sarah announced on Twitter last week that she is undergoing chemotherapy, telling fans that the cancer has spread to other parts of her body

Close: 'I am completely devastated, it's been really, really tough, but speaking to her a lot helps and keeping that contact,' Kimberley told The Sun on Wednesday (pictured together in 2003)

Close: ‘I am completely devastated, it’s been really, really tough, but speaking to her a lot helps and keeping that contact,’ Kimberley told The Sun on Wednesday (pictured together in 2003)

Sarah is said to have made emotional phone calls to her Girls Aloud bandmates about her cancer battle just days before she made a public statement.

According to reports, the singer spoke to Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley and Nicola Roberts before publicly announcing she has ‘advanced’ breast cancer. 

It has been claimed that the group are with their friend ‘every step of the way’ and the news has brought them closer than ever.  

Shock: Sarah revealed her battle with breast cancer in an emotional Instagram post last week and shared that the cancer had 'spread to other parts of her body' (pictured in 2018)

Shock: Sarah revealed her battle with breast cancer in an emotional Instagram post last week and shared that the cancer had ‘spread to other parts of her body’ (pictured in 2018)

Sarah announced the heartbreaking news with a snap taken from her hospital bed, as she explained she’d been undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions, but the cancer has spread to ‘other parts of her body.’

She 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.

Tragic: Sarah told fans she'd been battling the disease for several months with weekly chemotherapy sessions

Fight: The star  spoke candidly about her treatment

Tragic: Sarah told fans she’d been battling the disease for several months with weekly chemotherapy sessions

‘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. 

Close: Sarah is said to have made emotional phone calls to her Girls Aloud bandmates about her cancer battle just days before she made a public statement

Close: Sarah is said to have made emotional phone calls to her Girls Aloud bandmates about her cancer battle just days before she made a public statement 

‘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.’

All of the Girls Aloud members sent their support, with Cheryl, 37, tweeting a ‘broken heart’ emoji after Sarah announced the news.

 

We're with you: Posting on Twitter, Cheryl shared a single broken heart emoji, while Nadine insisted she will continue to support her old friend during the crisis. Nicola and Kimberley also showed their support for Sarah later that day

We’re with you: Posting on Twitter, Cheryl shared a single broken heart emoji, while Nadine insisted she will continue to support her old friend during the crisis. Nicola and Kimberley also showed their support for Sarah later that day 

Nadine, 35, wrote: ‘I love you!! You have always been able to achieve miracles when needed!! I am here for the all ways & always will be!!!’

Clearly shocked by Sarah’s diagnosis, Nicola, 34, tweeted: ‘It goes without saying that this is blindsiding. @SarahNHarding you’re so loved and supported.’

Kimberley, 38, also sent her love to her former bandmate, writing: ‘My heart is broken. You are so strong and brave and we are with you every step of the way.’

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

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