Health

'You feel so helpless' Girls Aloud reunite to honour Sarah Harding – breast cancer signs


Announcing the event via Instagram, Cheryl encouraged her 3.5 million followers to sign up and join them in honouring their former bandmate. Although Walsh is not able to be at the event in person, it is planned that the other members will take to London’s Hyde Park on July 24 to either run, walk or jog the route. Since Race for Life began in 1994, over 10 million people have taken part, raising over £920m for the charity’s life-saving work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer.

Writing on her social media page, the former X Factor judge wrote: “Around this time last year when Sarah was really sick we were all desperately trying to find ways to help her, comfort her.

“You feel so helpless in times like that and one of the only things she really wanted was a gala dinner.

“While that’s underway we felt like we could be doing more and we decided to do a Race for Life for Sarah at Hyde Park on the 24th of July and I know so many of you wanted to support her.

“You were helping her all the way through her illness and we’d really love it if you could join us there. Come, walk with us for 5 miles, people are doing it virtually too. We hope to see you there.”

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Since Harding’s death, many of the girls have spoken out about how they have coped with grief and how they continue to support members of Harding’s family.

Back in December last year, Walsh was reported saying: “I can’t lie, it absolutely knocked us all for six and the grieving is a daily challenge.

“Until you’re actually experiencing something like this with somebody who was close to you, it’s impossible to imagine what it’s going to feel like.

“I honestly still can’t work out how you ever truly accept it.

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“I deal with it day to day and, for me, that’s about checking in with everyone, especially Sarah’s mum, and making sure that they’re OK too. It’s going to take time, and it’s very, very tough.”

In addition to raising money in Harding’s memory, Roberts encouraged everyone one to get involved with the Race For Life events taking place around London in order to “make a difference for other women too”.

Breast cancer remains the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women who are diagnosed with the condition identify as women and are over the age of 50, but those younger, such as Harding, can also be at risk.

The first symptom of breast cancer for most individuals is a lump in the breast or some thickening of tissue. However, some lumps may be benign.

It is possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the blood or the axillary lymph nodes. These are small lymphatic glands that filter bacteria and cells from the mammary gland.

Due to the progressive nature of the disease, individuals are encouraged to have regular breast cancer screenings, where X-ray images are used to find a change in the breast tissue and potentially detect early stages of breast cancer. As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, all women who are 50 to 70 years old are invited for breast cancer screening every three years.

If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. At this stage, cancer is treated using a combination of:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy.

As the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, at the moment it’s not possible to know if it can be prevented. However, it has been suggested that regular exercise can reduce an individual’s risk of breast cancer by almost as much as a third. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can also improve the outlook for people affected by breast cancer.

You can sign up to Race for Life for Sarah at raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.





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