Shirley Ballas grateful for mammogram advice from Amy Dowden

The Strictly judge considered putting it off until the summer.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Shirley Ballas onstage during the National Lottery's Big Eurovision Welcome event outside St George's Hall on May 07, 2023 in Liverpool, England. Joel Dommett and AJ Ododu host
Shirley Ballas. (Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images for The National Lottery)

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas was inspired by Amy Dowden to undergo a recent mammogram.

In conversation with The Sun, the 'Queen of Latin' revealed that she's had three biopsies from tissue in her left breast following some advice from Strictly pro Dowden, who has spent the past year being treated for breast cancer.

"My dear student and friend Amy said to me, 'You must never miss a mammogram,'" said Ballas. "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.

Read more: Who are the pro dancers for Strictly 2024?

The TV star added that while she regularly does self checks, the mammogram scanners can detect abnormalities much sooner, and a recent appointment found 'lumpy tissue'. This led to a further 3D mammogram and a biopsy, and while she was ultimately given the all-clear, she admitted that she had found the whole process 'very emotional',

Amy Dowden at the Pride of Britain Awards 2023. (Getty Images)
Amy Dowden lost her hair during chemotherapy. (Getty Images)

This comes after ex-Strictly contestant and Dragons' Den favourite Sara Davies spoke of her influential role in Dowden having chemotherapy.

Talking to Loose Women presenter Ruth Langsford, she shared: "I was with her when she was making that decision. And I remember, because she'd had the mastectomy straight away, she kind of felt like 'well, they've taken it away, so that's finished, that's the end of it. I don't want to have chemo, I don't want to lose my hair, I won't be able to dance on Strictly this year.'

Read more: Amy Dowden's sweet words about Strictly 'family' after cancer update

"But the doctors were saying she should, and I said, 'Amy, if the doctors are saying you should, you really need to do it. This is a life-changing thing, if this is what they're saying you really need to embrace it.'

"The chemotherapy was as terrifying as the other C word she was dealing with in her life."

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in September.