Kylie diagnosed with breast cancer

Kylie Minogue has been diagnosed with breast cancer, her management company said today.

The singer, who will be 37 later this month, cancelled her sell-out tour of Australia after the diagnosis, her touring company said. She has also pulled out off this summer's Glastonbury Festival in the UK.

In a statement, Kylie said: "I was so looking forward to bringing the Showgirl tour to Australian audiences and am sorry to have to disappoint my fans. Nevertheless, hopefully all will work out fine and I'll be back with you all again soon."

Her management said the diagnosis was confirmed this week during a visit to Melbourne. In a statement, it said: "Whilst at home in Melbourne with her family this week prior to her Australian Showgirl Tour, Kylie was diagnosed with early breast cancer. She will undergo immediate treatment."

Kylie's tour promoter, Michael Gudinski, said: "I think it's great that she is with her family and has that strong support. If the news makes more women go and have a check-up then something positive will have come out of it."

Debbie Hitchings, of Cancer Research UK, said: "It is rare for someone so young to be diagnosed with breast cancer. The majority of women - some 80 per cent - who are diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50."

She added: "Treatments are improving all the time. Long-term survival rates are very good now."

Kylie has worked to raise money for breast cancer over recent years and has regularly worked to publicise Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of her skimpiest bras was sold at auction for a record £2,400 three years ago for Breast Cancer Care.

The singer has already taken the Showgirl tour around the UK and Europe. She was due to perform in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth over the next month.

The diminutive singer first shot to stardom playing mechanic Charlene Mitchell in Australian soap Neighbours.

It was her fresh-faced girl-next-door image that came to the attention of pop svengali Pete Waterman.

He went on to write a number of smash hits for her, including I Should Be So Lucky and Especially For You - the romantic ballad she sang with former boyfriend and Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan.

After enjoying years of stardom, Kylie wanted to break away from her bubble-gum pop image and experimented with rock and indie, to much derision from the critics.

Undeterred, the workaholic singer made a massive comeback with Spinning Around written by Paula Abdul. The video which featured Kylie in gold hotpants made her as famous for her pert bottom as her vocal ability.

Now globally revered, the tiny star has become a gay icon and is adored by legions of male and female fans worldwide.

According to the CancerBACUP charity, more than half of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 65. Up to 10 per cent of breast cancers are thought to be caused by inherited genes.

Breast cancer is a common cancer and about one in nine women in the UK will develop it during their lifetime.

Women who do not have children are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than women who do have children, the charity said.

Most breast cancers will be treated with surgery to remove the tumour.

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