Leading article: Good on you, Kylie

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The Independent Online

Kylie Minogue is not a usual subject for leading articles in this newspaper. She was once mentioned in passing, when we noted she had been knocked off the number one slot in the charts by a song about cannabis. Now she is back, and in her own right. We welcome her Showgirl Homecoming Tour that opened in Sydney last night - cockatoo feather outfit, screaming 10-year-olds, men in pink hot pants (especially them), excruciating music and all.

We will not patronise her, and others who have had cancer, by simpering about how "brave" she is. It is certainly worth noting that she avoided histrionics, and has spoken rather sensibly about how she does not want to "replicate" what she was 18 months ago because "I'm not the same person ... I actually can't do the same things."

Yet the pink kitsch exuberance of her show offers something more substantial by way of uplift than mere cultural candyfloss. It was not so long ago that a diagnosis of breast cancer was a death sentence. Her comeback tour dramatises the advances in medical science that have transformed survival rates. Of course, cancer is still an arbitrary, frightening and often unavoidably lethal disease. But Kylie not only embodies hope for women who are diagnosed early enough, she has helped raise awareness among young women for whom early diagnosis is the key. She has performed a signal service.

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