'I'm worried I've worked myself to death': Shirley Ballas details fears amid breast cancer scare

Shirley Ballas is terrified she has "worked [herself] to death" amid her fears she has breast cancer.

The 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge is awaiting test results after undergoing three biopsies following a routine mammogram found "lumpy tissue" and she can't help but fear the worst during such a worrying and emotional time.

She told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “I’m worried I’ve worked myself to death.

“It’s been terrifying, to have the needle go in your body to numb it before the biopsy.

“I feel very emotional. I’m not the same at work at the moment, so I’m teaching, but it’s constantly on my mind.

“Every time the phone rings, I think, ‘Oh, maybe they are my results’.”

The 63-year-old dance expert is thankful Amy Dowden - who is recovering from breast cancer - convinced her not to delay the routine screening.

She said: “My dear student and friend Amy said to me, ‘You must never miss a mammogram’.

“So when this particular invite came in I could have put it off until the summer when it is a bit quieter. But I’m glad I didn’t.

“I did it at a mobile NHS unit in a Sainsbury’s car park, and three days later they called me back to go into King’s College Hospital in Camberwell.

“I was shocked as I do self checks, and I’d had a self check with another nurse a few weeks before for something else and she didn’t feel anything. But the mammogram scanners can pick up small abnormalities.

“So I went to the hospital and the doctor said, ‘I don’t want to alarm you but we found something and we’re not sure what it is.

“We need to do a 3D mammogram, which is a more advanced machine’.

“After that they still weren’t happy after finding lumpy tissue and asked me to come back and do a biopsy.

“But I asked to do it straightaway because a woman’s mind can work overtime.”

Shirley found it particularly upsetting confiding in her 87-year-old mother Audrey, who lives with her in London.

She said: “My biggest fear would be that I pass before my mother.

“I couldn’t think of anything worse.

“Because she needs me as much as I need her and at 87 she’s amazing.

“She takes care of me.

“I told her I was fine, but inside I was nervous.”

Shirley also had a cancer scare while filming the 'Strictly' Christmas special after undergoing tests for internal bleeding.

She said: “I have had continuous issues and even had really strong, painful injections into the cervix on the day of the special.

“Fortunately that one came back clear.

“But I went straight from there to judge the Christmas show on pain medication.

“I had pain and bleeding, but I carried on.”