Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden, 32, reveals breast cancer diagnosis
Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden has revealed she has breast cancer at the age of 32.
The professional dancer, who joined the BBC One competition in 2017 and has partnered with the likes of James Bye and Tom Fletcher, found a lump in her breast before her honeymoon with husband Ben Jones.
Taking to Instagram, Amy wrote: ‘Hey all, I’ve got some news which isn’t easy to share.
‘I’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer but I’m determined to get back on that dance floor before you know it.’
Her post was showered in support from her fellow Strictly stars, with Dianne Buswell writing: ‘Our Welsh dragon is going to fight this !!!! and I can not wait for the moment you are back on that dance floor with us. We love you so much Amy.’
Vito Coppola added ‘We are All with you Amy, by your side’, while Nadiya Bychkova wrote: ‘Amy darling Sending you all the love and the strength to get through this. Take care of yourself.’
Sharing her love, Oti Mabuse wrote: ‘Sending you love and power and all the strength 😍😍😍 – you’re such an incredible woman 💖 love you Amy! Take care of yourself.’
Fleur East added: ‘Amy! You’re in my thoughts and prayers! You have the best fighting spirit of anyone I know! Sending you so much love.’
Amy revealed: ‘I’ve been through quite a lot in my life and this is another hurdle.
‘But if I’m positive and strong, I’ve got a really good chance of getting back out on the dancefloor as soon as possible.’
She continued to Hello!: ‘You just don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you.
‘I hadn’t thought it was possible to get breast cancer at my age.’
Amy elsewhere revealed her former Strictly partner and McFly star Tom Fletcher and his wife Giovanna, with whom she stayed with after an ‘unexpected’ hospital trip, supported her after she told them, with the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast host ‘encouraging’ her to share her story.
Amy added that her mum had breast cancer in her 50s, and she hopes to try and ‘turn this negative into a positive’.
She continued: ‘With what I’ve done for Crohn’s, I want to do the same here.
‘If I can try and turn this negative into a positive, it’s going to help me get through this.’
After two delays due to the pandemic, Amy and Ben tied the knot in July 2022, in Wales.
She revealed that she discovered a lump under her right breast the day before their honeymoon in the Maldives, which left her’in shock’ and while on holiday, she ‘was noticing it’ everyday.
Amy knew she needed to seek medical help when it ‘felt so much bigger’ ahead of a dance show.
Recalling her visit to the GP, Amy told the publication: ‘Everything happened so fast within that day.
‘I went on my own and didn’t tell anybody, but when I was there, the nurse said to me: “You need to have somebody here” and that’s when Ben found out.’
Amy has yet to hear more about her treatment plan which ‘will definitely include surgery’ as a second lump has been found in the same breast, and she is waiting for a biopsy.
Since rising to fame, Amy has been raising awareness of the reality of living with Crohn’s disease, having shared candid pictures of flare-ups on social media, and fronted a documentary, Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me.
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed, which can lead to severe stomach cramps, fatigue, diarrhoea, and weight loss. There is currently no cure, with patients offered medication to manage symptoms and often surgery to remove part of the digestive system.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Amy said:‘My health dictated so much of my life from the age of 11 and I had these enormous plans for doing things, and I just wanted to get on with my life, just push it to one side and say, “I’m Amy the dancer, not Amy with Crohn’s disease.”’
But as she’s got older, she’s accepted it and reflects on the unexpected ways it might have changed her life: ‘It’s made me who I am and I’m not sure I’d have achieved what I have done if it wasn’t for my Crohn’s.’
The documentary began filming ahead of lockdown, resulting in a revealing look into the difficulty of living with a condition like Crohn’s as the stress of the situation took its toll on Amy physically and she ended up in hospital with a major flare-up.
‘You know that you must be poorly if they’re keeping you in hospital during a global pandemic. It was certainly stressful – and scary. My body had been go, go, go, go, go, and to hit it with a sudden stop had a major impact.’
The Welsh dancer is a strong supporter of ‘the wonderful NHS’, and wants to raise awareness of the condition and help those who are struggling.
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