26/01/2019 07:30 GMT

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Star Debbie McGee Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

“You’re very vulnerable in lots of ways that you weren’t before.”

Debbie McGee has revealed she has undergone surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The 60-year-old, who made the final of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2017, underwent surgery earlier this month to remove two tumours from her left breast.

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Debbie McGee

Debbie believes the operation was a success, and is convinced her breast cancer was brought on by the stress of losing her husband, magician Paul Daniels, in 2016.

She told The Sun: “I’ve never been through the stress I’ve been through since I lost Paul.

“Grief hits you in so many ways you’re not expecting. It’s not all about sadness.

“I’ve got a friend who lost her husband four years ago. She’s younger than me but she got it (cancer) as well.

“We both discussed it and said stress.”

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Debbie with her late husband, Paul Daniels

Debbie was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in October and now says she’s the “luckiest person in the world” after doctors then gave her the all-clear.

She added: “Although I’ve had mammograms every two years I never thought for a minute I’d ever have it myself. It scared me to death.

“They were talking about full mastectomy, taking flesh from my thighs. That was really scary given my dancing — and I was all on my own.

“I thought, ‘This is a moment when Paul isn’t here with me’. It was much tougher to take.

“You’re very vulnerable in lots of ways that you weren’t before.”

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
Debbie was partnered with Giovanni Pernice on 'Strictly' in 2017.

Following her stint on ‘Strictly’, Debbie revealed she was ready for a new relationship, two years after the death of her husband.

She told Hello magazine: “I don’t want to be on my own for the rest of my life. I love male company, am full of energy and don’t want to be stuck at home alone.

“Although I have male friends that take me out for lunches and dinners, I wouldn’t describe them as dates.

“Nobody has actually asked me out yet, but when they do, I’ll go.”

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
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    "It leaves you so flattened," the actress said following her cancer treatment. 

    "I’m not sure I could go back to theatre work, although film work is more tiring. I’m frightened to work in theatre now. I feel very uncertain. I haven’t done it for a while."
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    "Having had cancer, one important thing to know is you're still the same person at the end. You're stripped down to near zero," she told Good Housekeeping back in 2014. 

    "But most people come out the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before."
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    "The first time you have chemo is a bit scary, because you have no idea how you’re going to feel," she said.

    "But let me tell you this: it’s basically like the most enormous hangover you’ve ever had in your whole life; it’s like a night on mixed spirits, wine and grappa. It’s a real cracker. It’s a humdinger."
  • Shannen Doherty
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    Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
    Shannen Doherty said "the unknown" is the worst part of living with breast cancer.

    "The unknown is always the scariest part," she told ET Online.

     "Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer? Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable, you know living without a breast is manageable, it's the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love."
  • Olivia Newton-John
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    When Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, she learned that sometimes it's important to put yourself first.

    "I learned very quickly how important it was for me to think positively," she said on her website.

    "When the second friend I called with the news burst into tears, I thought - this is too stressful. I had to find someone else to handle the day to day discussions of my health so I could concentrate on healing."
  • Wanda Sykes
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    Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA
    In 2011, Wanda Sykes said her twins, who were just two years old at the time, were one of the reasons she opted to have a double mastectomy. 

    "We never hid anything from the kids. They were a huge part of my decision because I wanted to be around for them," she told People magazine.

    "I feel whole again, I really do. I've told them, 'Mommy's boo-boo is much better now.'"
  • Sharon Osbourne
    Sharon Osbourne
    Matt Crossick/PA Archive
    Sharon Osbourne decided to have a double mastectomy in 2012 after discovering she has a faulty breast cancer gene, having already had treatment for the disease once.

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    "I didn’t even think of my breasts in a nostalgic way, I just wanted to be able to live my life without that fear all the time."

    "It’s not 'pity me', it’s a decision I made that’s got rid of this weight that I was carrying around."
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    Juan Naharro Gimenez via Getty Images
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  • Anastacia Lyn Newkirk
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    Chris Jackson via Getty Images
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    She's now raising money for Cancer Research UK by appearing on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

    "After beating breast cancer twice, I'm really passionate about trying to do something to help change the odds for others who are affected by this terrible disease," she says on her fundraising page.

    "It's so important for everyone to know what's normal for them and see their doctor with any changes, as spotting cancer at an early stage can make a huge difference."