Shirley Ballas says biopsy tests for breast cancer scare have been ‘terrifying’

Shirley Ballas has said undergoing biopsy tests to check for breast cancer has been “terrifying” as she urged others not to miss their health check-ups.

The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 63, announced earlier this week on her Instagram story that she was waiting on biopsy results after having a mammogram.

In an interview in The Sun on Sunday, the ballroom star opened up about the “emotional” experience and revealed she had another cancer scare while filming the Strictly Christmas special.

Discussing how she has been feeling, she told the newspaper: “I’m worried I’ve worked myself to death. It’s been terrifying, to have the needle go in your body to numb it before the biopsy.

“I feel very emotional. I’m not the same at work at the moment, so I’m teaching, but it’s constantly on my mind.”

She explained she underwent her mammogram in a mobile NHS unit in a Sainsbury’s car park and a few days later she was called to go into King’s College Hospital in south London.

Ballas said she was “shocked” as she had a breast check with a nurse a few weeks previously which had not shown anything but was told the mammogram scanners can “pick up small abnormalities”.

“The doctor said ‘I don’t want to alarm you but we found something and we’re not sure what it is. We need to do a 3D mammogram, which is a more advanced machine’”, she recalled.

“After that they still weren’t happy after finding lumpy tissue and asked me to come back and do a biopsy.”

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Shirley Ballas has talked about a health scare (Yui Mok/PA)

The ballroom star said that waiting for the results has made her a “nervous wreck”, admitting her biggest fear would be if she died before her 87-year-old mother.

Ballas also revealed she had a cancer scare when filming the Christmas special, saying: “I have had continuous issues and even had really strong, painful injections into the cervix on the day of the special.

“Fortunately that one came back clear. But I went straight from there to judge the Christmas show on pain medication.”

In 2019 she had her breast implants removed after being told by a healthcare professional during a mammogram that they may not always be able to check for cancer behind the implants.

The dancer has a family history of cancer, with her mother suffering from colon cancer in recent years.

In 2021, Ballas also underwent tests after fans spotted a lump under her arm during an online video, which turned out to be clear.

In her Instagram Story, Ballas said she had been motivated to get the tests as Strictly professional Amy Dowden has been encouraging it.

The dancer, 33, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer last year after finding a lump in her breast the day before going to the Maldives on her honeymoon.

She later had a mastectomy before undergoing chemotherapy, which she has now finished.

Ballas said Dowden had been “absolutely lovely” to her since she shared her own health update.

The Strictly judge is now urging others to get their mammograms and smear tests, adding: “Check your body, check your breasts. It might save your life”