Sarah Harding’s first signs of breast cancer as bandmates reunite in her honour

Sarah Harding’s first signs of breast cancer as bandmates reunite in her honour

Girls Aloud reunited on Sunday, 24 July, for a special charity event at London’s Hyde Park which saw the former bandmates and fans of the girl group pay tribute to the late Sarah Harding.

The event, named Race for Life, saw Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Cheryl team up with Cancer Research.

Sarah tragically died aged just 39 in September 2021 to breast cancer.

Announcing the devastating news at the time, Sarah’s mum took to Instagram to release a statement, which said: “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.

“Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day.”



Sarah, who was a member of Girls Aloud, tragically died last September, aged 39, following her breast cancer battle

Following this year’s Race for Life, here is the following first signs of breast cancer that Sarah spotted that could help someone else get an early diagnosis and even save their life.

Sarah first revealed her diagnosis in August 2020 and opened up on the fact she had tried to ignore her symptoms because she was in “denial”.

In an extract from her book Hear Me Out, the singer wrote: “At first I thought it was just a cyst. I’d been playing my guitar a lot, and I thought the strap had probably irritated an area around my breast.

“The trouble was, the pain was getting worse. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep in a bed any more. I slept on the sofa, popping painkillers like they were Smarties.

“I really overdid it, but the pain was overwhelming. Eventually, my skin started to bruise, and by now I was terrified.”



Girls Aloud have reunited to honour Sarah Harding at the Race for Life run

She continued: “One day I woke up realising that I’d been in denial.

“Yes, there was a lockdown, yes, there was a pandemic, but it was almost as if I’d been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong.

“All through the tests, I was, of course, praying that it wasn’t cancer.

“I think the fact that what I had was so painful gave me some hope it might not be. I’d read that cancer lumps are often not painful, which is why I was hoping against hope that what I had was just a cyst of some kind.”



(L-R) Kimberly Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Cheryl and Sarah Harding

Similar to how Sarah explained, the first symptom that women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast.

Not all lumps are cancerous but it’s vital that if you believe you have identified a possible symptom of cancer you have it checked by a doctor.

Men can also get breast cancer so it’s important we all check ourselves.

According to the NHS, some other signs of breast cancer to look for include:

  • A change in the size or the shape of one or both breasts
  • Discharge of fluid from your nipple
  • A change in the look or feel of your skin, such as a rash, redness, puckering or dimpling
  • An eczma-like rash, crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
  • A change in how your nipple looks, such as becoming sunken
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits

Breast pain in not usually a symptom of breast cancer, but it was for Sarah.

If you think something could be wrong, or you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above then you should see a GP.

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