Sarah Harding’s doctor sheds light on ‘resilient’ star’s ‘very difficult cancer battle’

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Sarah Harding's doctor has paid tribute to the "resilient" former Girls Aloud star after her death from breast cancer aged 39.

The singer died just 13 months after confirming her terminal cancer diagnosis.

Sacha Howell, a consultant at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, described the singer's death as a "sad loss" but hailed her "mettle" as she fought the disease.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: "It was a very, very sad day clearly for her family and friends more so but for myself and for the team on the ward that have nursed her for a good length of time. We are all extremely sad."

He added: "There was an element of fragility to Sarah but also she had a real mettle. She was a really resilient woman and it's such a sad loss."

Harding revealed last August she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.

She said that publicly revealing her diagnosis was "scary" but was also "the right thing to do".

Earlier this year, Harding said doctors had told her she would not see another Christmas.

The announcement of her death brought tributes from former bandmates.

Nicola Roberts shared a series of photos of them together during Girls Aloud's early years and wrote: "I'm absolutely devastated and I can't accept that this day has come.

"A part of me or us isn't here anymore and it's unthinkable and painful and utterly cruel."

Meanwhile Cheryl revealed she's "in disbelief" and "at a loss for words".

She shared a stunning black and white photo of a smiling Sarah on her Instagram page with the caption: "Although we knew this day would arrive I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft hearted girl has departed."

Nadine added: "I am absolutely devastated. I can't think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl and what she means to me."

Harding's mother Marie announced the death on Instagram and described her "beautiful" daughter as "a bright shining star".

Born in Ascot, Berkshire, in 1981, Sarah spent most of her school years in Stockport, Greater Manchester. She worked in a nightclub promotions team after leaving school.

She also toured North West England performing at pubs, social clubs, and caravan parks to support herself while pushing for a career in the arts.

Sarah found fame in 2002 when she won a place on Popstars: The Rivals – a precursor to the Pop Idol franchise.

She teamed up with, Cheryl, Nadine, Nicola and Kimberley in Girls Aloud and the band took the UK by storm soon after.

Sarah was reportedly planning a solo career as a blue singer prior to her cancer diagnosis and had been honing her skills as a guitarist before the diagnosis.

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