Sarah Harding's Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Pop star Sarah Harding, 38, revealed her breast cancer diagnosis, saying it has recently spread; Harding undergoes weekly rounds of chemotherapy for treatment.
- Experts have talked to SurvivorNet about promising treatment options for women whose breast cancer has spread, which includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and more.
- Mammograms are effective tools in catching breast cancer early, and it’s important women push their doctors for screenings despite being considered to young.
On Instagram, Harding, 38, dropped a bombshell on fans when she shared a photo of her in a hospital bed and revealed that not only has she been diagnosed with breast cancer, but the disease has spread to other parts of her body. According to Harding, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year but as of a few weeks ago she was told the cancer had spread. She is currently undergoing weekly rounds of chemotherapy for treatment.Read More
The news understandably came as a shock to fans, and in the post Harding admitted she is only breaking the news through social media because publications photographed her going inside her hospital. There’s something to be said about having to tell people something very personal when you aren’t ready, but clearly Harding decided to reclaim and control her own story. Despite the less-than-great news, she says she’s trying to remain positive throughout the process, and is grateful for all the support she’s received.
“My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes,” Harding wrote. “I am doing my very best to keep positive and will keep you updated here with how I’m getting on.”
View this post on Instagram
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
Navigating Metastatic Breast Cancer
Harding didn’t go into detail about where her cancer has spread, but treatment options for metastatic breast cancer have grown significantly thanks to developing research. In many cases, metastatic cancer is referred to as “advanced,” and while it’s certainly a scary diagnosis to hear, you still have promising options.
“Fortunately, in today’s medical technology, what’s available are so many different options, including standard therapies, whether it be chemotherapy or hormonal therapies, or a new targeted medicine based on genetic sequencing of your cancer that may have been performed– meaning, trying to understand the mutations that are found in your cancer and are there any specific drugs that could be targeted for that mutation,” Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, tells SurvivorNet.
Thanks to new developments in research and recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals, it’s important women know that battling metastatic and advanced breast cancer is not a death sentence.
Screenings for Breast Cancer
When it comes to breast cancer risk, lifestyle choices can sometimes be just as much a factor as genetics. In Harding’s case, 38-years-old is pretty young to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, but women can take the initiative learn more about how to catch a diagnosis early through routine screening exams, like a mammogram.
At the moment, the recommended age women should start undergoing yearly mammogram checks is 45, and taking that into account, it may have contributed to Harding’s advanced diagnosis. Even if you’re young, there’s still a possibility that you’re at risk of being diagnosed with mammogram, and that’s why it’s so important to know your risk and take initiative on behalf of your health.
“What I’m most concerned about is the women who haven’t been in for a mammogram for two, three, or four years, [but] those women that have never had a mammogram,” Dr. Connie Lehman, Chief of the Breast Imaging Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells SurvivorNet. “We all agree regular screening mammography saves lives.”
Seeing as mammograms can be a life-saving resource, it’s important to advocate for yourself if you feel like a mammogram is needed. Don’t let your physician push past your concerns by saying you’re too young.