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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Maanya Sachdeva

Strictly’s Amy Dowden shares health update amid cancer treatment

Instagram/Amy Dowden

Amy Dowden gave fans a welcome health update today by announcing that she’s completed all eight rounds of chemotherapy before ringing the traditional end of treatment bell to celebrate.

The Strictly Come Dancing star, 33, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May, and underwent a mastectomy in July. However, the professional dancer was later told she would have to begin a course of chemo after doctors discovered the cancer had spread.

Dowden began receiving the treatment at the Sheldon Unit in Birmingham on 1 August and, last month, confirmed the “finish line is in sight” after completing her seventh – and penultimate – round of chemo.

“We are finally here,” the Welsh ballroom dancer wrote on Instagram, as she arrived at the hospital for her final session. “I’ve cried all morning! Right an afternoon of chemo and then I’m so lucky and grateful to be able to ring that bell! Will never take it for granted! Thank you to the incredible Sheldon Unit! You are all amazing NHS, all true heroes.

“Right here goes! See you all later,” she captioned a photograph taken outside Sheldon Unit.

Dowden followed her message up with a second post on Thursday, joyously revealing that she joined two other cancer survivors in “ringing the bell” – a gesture that symbolises the end of chemotherapy and, hopefully, a difficult chapter for patients.

“Today all three of us ring that chemo bell! 32,35 and 26 when all diagnosed with breast cancer so please this is a note from us three to check your chest!” Dowden’s caption read. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate.”

While breast cancer in men is rare, Cancer Research UK estimates that, every year, around 370 men are diagnosed with the disease in the country.

Several celebrities such as It Takes Two host Fleur East, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge Michelle Visage, British broadcaster Gaby Roslin, and English singer Tom Fletcher joined Dowden’s fans in sending her congratulatory messages on the day of her eighth session.

“Thinking of you today! Go ring that bell!!!” Fletcher’s comment read.

“You three are all awesome. Ring those bells loudly! Love and bells to you all,” Roslin said.

“You’re incredible!” East wrote, while Visage commented: “WE LOVE YOU AMY.”

Several people also praised the dancer for using her platform to raise awareness about breast cancer, noting that Dowden has been documenting her journey on social media since first revealing her diagnosis. After her seventh round of treatment, Dowden posted a video chronicling “a day in chemo with me” on Instagram.,

Explaining that since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dowden said she wanted to “show the truth with my journey and hopefully... help others”.

“Remember everyone’s cancer journey is different so please don’t judge,” she continued, over clips of her staff at Sheldon Unit’s oncology department prepping her for the treatment. “They do what’s right for you and what you need, medically, for your journey.”

Strictly fan-favourite Dowden was forced to pull out of the hit BBC One series after she discovered a lump, one day she was supposed to fly to Maldives with her husband Ben Jones.

During an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, Dowden revealed that she did not tell Jones about the lump because “he wouldn’t have gone on the honeymoon”, adding “I didn’t want to worry anybody until we knew”.

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