Dr Hilary Jones has said Sarah Harding’s cancer is “uncommon” and “may have spread fast”.
Sarah, 38, made the devastating announcement that she was diagnosed with breast cancer which has spread to other parts of her body in an emotional statement on Wednesday.
Good Morning Britain’s resident doctor has now discussed the disease, saying it is rare for somebody of Sarah’s age to be diagnosed.
Speaking to hosts of the ITV breakfast show, Sean Fletcher and Ranvir Singh, about the Girls Aloud singer’s illness, he said: “The success rate and the outcomes for breast cancer have increased dramatically in the last 40 years.
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“So that’s really good news, we have got better treatment, we have got earlier diagnosis through screening, self-checking, so that’s all good news.”
He added: “It’s shocking isn’t it? At just 38. A lot of people are saying, ‘But that’s so young,’ and it is, if you look at the stats about 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, it’s the commonest cancer of all in women.
“But the majority of those will be over 50, 8,000 are under 50, and only about 2,000 under the age of 40, so it’s relatively uncommon.
“But all the more devastating for that, when it’s diagnosed at such a tender age, and we wish her all the very best.”
Hilary then said Sarah’s cancer may have spread fast once Sean asked if it had gone undetected for a long time.
He replied: “It depends on the type of cell, some cells are much more aggressive, so you can have an almost undetectable breast lump which can spread to other parts of the body.
“In other instances the actual initial lump that is detected is quite large, and it hasn’t spread, so a lot depends on the cell type, on whether the cells respond to hormones, and whether they have receptors for other types of proteins.
“It’s very individual, there are no general rules you can apply to everybody. But early detection is still key, screening, self-checking, still very important.
“I am sure Sarah was doing all that and sometimes it still slips through the net and it’s a tragedy when it does.”
All four of Sarah’s former bandmates have sent messages of support to the Celebrity Big Brother winner, with Cheryl simply tweeting a broken heart emoji.
Nadine Coyle wrote to Sarah: “I love you!!!! You have always been able to achieve miracles when needed!! I am here for [you] all the way & always will be!!!”
Nicola Roberts tweeted: “It goes without saying that this is blindsiding. @SarahNHarding you’re so loved and supported,” as Kimberley Walsh said: “My heart is broken. You are so strong and brave and we are with you every step of the way.”
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