Shirley Ballas reveals fears for 'ganglion cyst' in third cancer scare

Shirley Ballas has revealed she recently found a 'ganglion cyst' on her shoulder after two previous cancer scares

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Shirley Ballas attends the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019 at The Roundhouse on October 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
(Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Shirley Ballas has opened up about her recent health struggles in a candid new interview, revealing she is awaiting test results after finding a "worrying" lump on her shoulder. 

The Strictly Come Dancing judge, who is currently in recovery from long Covid after contracting the virus last March, shared details of her difficult medical journey with fans of the hit BBC show yesterday. 

“I got the Covid virus and then they found a ganglion cyst or a tumour in my shoulder," she told the Sun. 

“I am going backwards and forwards to the hospital all the time." 

The British ballroom dancer has suffered from declining health since falling ill with the coronavirus three months ago and now finds herself debilitated by her symptoms. 

"I feel I seem to be getting sicker by the minute. I can’t seem to get up and out," the formerly active star admitted. 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli during the opening night of the Strictly Come Dancing Arena Tour 2020 at Arena Birmingham on January 16, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

In the meantime, all Shirley can do is wait for the results, which she should receive in a few weeks' time. 

Despite administering extensive tests on the so-called Queen of Latin, doctors were unable to determine the exact cause of the lump. 

"They are not really sure what it is yet. They’ve done the dye and the MRIs and this and that," Shirley said. 

“I’ve been back so many times, and I go for the results in a few weeks... They put the words ‘ganglion’ and ‘tumour’ in the same bracket."

Shirley, who has had two previous cancer scares, is hoping that the tests confirm the lump to be a ganglion cyst. 

These are benign lumps filled with soft fluid that form along the body's tendons or joints. While they are noncancerous and typically pose little discomfort, they can sometimes be painful and/or impact joint movement. 

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To maintain a positive attitude and keep fit, Shirley tries to stay active as much as she can. She regularly exercises and even bought herself a bicycle over lockdown to log that much-needed cardio into her daily routine. (If you're looking for a bit of a fitness inspiration yourself, check out our five ways to boost workout motivation and enjoy exercise). 

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Shirley Ballas during training for the Comic Relief Kilimanjaro climb on February 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Comic Relief/Getty Images for Comic Relief)

(Image credit: Tim Whitby/Comic Relief/Getty Images for Comic Relief)

Shirley's health fears still haven't eased off though. The 60-year-old TV personality has a family history of cancer, losing her mother to the cruel disease in 2019. 

"The gentleman [the doctor] seems to think it will be fine but still, it is worrying," she said. 

After undergoing breast enlargement surgery in 2002 in a bid to save her marriage, Shirley decided to remove the implants to have a potentially dangerous capsule extracted. The operation, which occurred whilst she was filming Strictly, has lowered her risk of developing breast cancer and instilled her with renewed confidence. 

"They’re lovely," she told the Sun after the procedure had been successfully completed. 

"They’re all a bit swollen but I’m pleased with the breast lift he gave me. And now I’m in the process of learning to love myself after all those years."

While lumps are the most known red flag of breast cancer, there are also some less obvious signs to be aware of. This woman shared her lesser-known breast cancer symptoms, such as dimples and blood stained discharge, to help others identify warning signals and seek treatment as quickly as possible.

Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.


Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.