Breast cancer study in late Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding's memory launches

Sarah Harding's dying wish was to make sure that more research was done to prevent and cure breast cancer.



Sarah Harding's last wish before her death is beginning to be fulfilled
Sarah Harding's last wish before her death is beginning to be fulfilled

The late Sarah Harding's wish has come true as her charity has helped to fund the new Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Young Women research project to look for early signs of breast cancer.

The Girls Aloud star tragically died from the disease aged just 39 in 2021, and it was her dying wish to help other women like herself.

And her own charity, the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal, with the support of the Christie Charity and Cancer Research UK is now funding the project in Greater Manchester.

Around 2,300 women aged 39 and under are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK per year.

Sarah's former bandmates in the girl group - Cheryl, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts - have all supported Sarah's charity.

It's hoped that all women in the above age bracket will be able to get a risk assessment for the disease in the future.

Sarah had previously said: "Research is incredibly important in the fight against cancer.

"Although this research may not be in time to help me, this project is incredibly close to my heart as it may help women like me in the future."

Catherine Craven-Howe, 33, is the first to take part in the trial.

The first appointment saw her undergo a mammogram to check her breast density and a genetic saliva sample.

She said: "Although I don't have breast cancer myself and I don't have a history of it in my family, I know just how important clinical trials and research are.

"I hope my participation will help devise a simple test to detect the likelihood of breast cancer for young women like me in the future."

The project will see 1,000 women take part and 250 of them will have breast cancer.

Sarah's consultant, Dr Sacha Howell, is leading the study and said: "Sarah spoke to me many times about breast cancer research and was really keen for more to be done to find out why young women are being diagnosed without any other family members having been affected by the disease."

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, added: "Even in the darkest days of her cancer journey, Sarah Harding was a fearless advocate for research.

"She bravely faced up to the pain the cancer caused her, undergoing treatment whilst thinking of ways to help other women in a similar position."