Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas ’can now breathe’ after cancer scare

Shirley Ballas
Shirley Ballas feels like she can breathe again after her diagnosis (Image credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Shirley Ballas has issued a heartfelt thank you to the Strictly Come Dancing fans who spotted the lumps under her armpits on the show, prompting her to get intensive health checks that had frightening results.

Despite the big scare, her checks have come back with an upbeat diagnosis – mostly – and she commented that “after feeling very anxious for several weeks I can now breath”.

Shirley revealed in October that the blood tests showed that “the testosterone has come back ultra-high, the adrenal glands need a scan, my ovaries need a scan and my oestrogen levels are extremely low”.

These results followed three cancer scares she’d endured in recent years, including breast cancer and bowel cancer – all of which came back negative.

On Friday night, she told her fans on Instagram: “Hey everyone I just wanted to fill you in as promised that I got two sets of results today and the shadow on my kidneys seems absolutely fine and they’re not worried about it and some of the little, I’m gonna say, polyps, which is a fancy name for them, are just absolutely fine, so there’s no cancer there…

“Now I just have to have my boobies checked one more time when I have a minute and my hormones are still all over the place, so we started today with some oestrogen to see if we can balance the body better. And [my GP] recommended I maybe just take a bit of time for myself which I shall try to do.”

She ended her Instagram message with a tribute to her Strictly fans: “Thank you to all who spotted it, who made me go and get my MOT of myself, I really appreciate it. I love you all.”

Shirley will once again be presiding over the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel on BBC One tonight, Saturday Nov 27.

The six remaining couples will perform these dances in week 10:

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin - Samba to Levitating by Dua Lipa

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe - Argentine Tango to The 5th by David Garrett

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu - Waltz to You Light Up My Life by Whitney Houston

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington - Couple’s Choice to Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae

Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova - Desperado by Eagles

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice - Paso Doble to California Dreamin’ by Sia

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.