Cancer charities warn of 'panic' over Kylie case

Britain's cancer charities have voiced concerns that media interest in the news that 36-year-old singer Kylie Minogue has been diagnosed with cancer will wrongly 'skew awareness' of the disease.

Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Relief are warning young women not to panic. They have emphasised that of the 40,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer, only four per cent are aged 35 to 39.

The charities want to ensure women do not perceive breast cancer as a young person's disease on the back of coverage of Minogue's condition.

'When a famous woman like Kylie gets breast cancer it attracts media attention because of the very fact that she is so young,' said Cancer Research UK head of press Peter Flynn. 'But the danger is that this will cause unnecessary panic.'

Macmillan Cancer Relief head of media Liz North feared the media coverage 'could cause alarm among young women and frighten them unnecessarily'.

The charities are stressing that four out of five women who develop breast cancer are post-menopausal.

'Media interest will increase awareness among women that they need to be breast-aware throughout their adult lives,' said Breast Cancer Care head of comms Nina Kapur, who arranged 30 press interviews with charity representatives when the news broke this week.

'But we will have to work harder to get the message across that age is still the greatest risk factor, to ensure younger people don't panic and older people don't sit on their laurels,' she added.

However, Breakthrough Breast Cancer head of media relations Fiona Hazell argued the story 'could only help the breast cancer cause'.

Breast Cancer Care this week teamed up with The Sun on the back of the story and is asking readers to pledge their support for Minogue by fundraising for the charity.

Minogue's Australian publicist is Kylie Martin.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in