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The Nolan sisters' heartbreaking cancer battles explained

The I'm In the Mood For Dancing singers have a family history of cancer

nolan sisters bernie linda and anne on morning tv shows discussing cancer battles
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The Nolans have endured family heartbreak in recent years, first with the loss of second youngest sibling Bernie, and then with sisters Anne and Linda's difficult cancer battles.

On Monday, Linda Nolan shared a sad update with fans during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, revealing in the emotional video below that her cancer has now spread to her brain. The news is even more devastating for the Irish pop group since sister Bernie passed away following a cancer battle in 2013, while sister Anne has also fought breast cancer twice.

As the Nolan sisters rally around Linda following her sad diagnosis, here's everything we know about the close-knit family's health battles.

WATCH: Linda Nolan reveals her cancer has spread to her brain

Which Nolan sisters have had cancer?

Bernie, Anne and Linda Nolan have all had cancer. The remaining members of the pop group, Coleen, Maureen and Denise, have not experienced the disease.

RELATED: Coleen Nolan opens up about sister Bernie's cancer battle

 Bernie Nolan 

Bernie Nolan in sparkly dress with shaved head at Pride Of Britain Awards 2010
Bernie Nolan tragically passed away in 2013

Second youngest sister Bernie Nolan passed away from cancer in 2013. The late star was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2010. She passed away in her sleep on 4 July 2013 aged 52.

A statement from the Nolans' spokesman said at the time: "Bernie passed away peacefully this morning with all of her family around her. The entire family are devastated to have lost beloved Bernie, a wonderful wife, adoring mother and loving sister, she is irreplaceable. They kindly ask people to respect their privacy at this difficult time."

Following chemotherapy and breast reconstruction, the mother of one thought she had beaten the disease, announcing in February 2012 that she was free of cancer.

Tragically, that summer the Dublin-born star was told that her cancer had returned to her left breast, brain, lungs, liver and bones.

When she was given the devastating news that her cancer had returned, the performer told HELLO!: "There's no point dwelling on it. I've got to fight it, be positive and get on with it."

Linda Nolan

linda nolan in blue blazer talking about cancer battle on gmb
Linda Nolan's cancer has sadly spread to her brain

Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and underwent a single mastectomy as part of her treatment. She got the all-clear in 2007 but was then diagnosed with cellulitis and lymphedema in her arm.

MORE: Coleen Nolan's sister Linda takes step back from career amid cancer woes

Linda, 64, then discovered she was suffering from secondary cancer in her pelvis in 2017.

In March 2020, Linda was told that her cancer had affected her liver and so underwent chemotherapy until September of that year.

The star has remained positive throughout, despite knowing her cancer is incurable. She also revealed that she was grateful to be going through treatment at the same time as her sister Anne.

"They [the doctors] want positivity all the time," she said on GMB at the time. "They say that helps you as much as what they're doing. Don't get me wrong, we've both had our moments, we're both scared to death, we want to live. It is a very scary diagnosis.

"I've known that my cancer isn't curable since 2017 but I'm getting great treatment and I'm going to be living with cancer and I propose to do that for an awful long time."

Anne Nolan

linda and anne nolan appearing via video link on lorraine with shaved heads© ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Anne Nolan and sister Linda underwent chemotherapy at the same time in 2020

Anne was the first Nolan sister to battle the disease and was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.

The star, 72, was then diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in April 2020, while Linda found out she had incurable liver cancer just a few days later.

The famous sisters were given their diagnosis just days after they finished filming The Nolans Go Cruising.

The siblings, who both underwent chemotherapy at the same time, vowed to beat the disease which killed their sister Bernie.

"I don't want to die. I love my life so much. I love my daughters, my grandchildren, my friends, all my family. I want to live for as long as I possibly can," Anne told The Sun.

Do the Nolan sisters have the BRCA 1 or 2 gene?

linda coleen bernie and maureen nolan posing together
The Nolans have a family history of cancer

The Nolan sisters have been tested for the BRCA 1 or 2 gene to determine whether they have a genetic predisposition to cancer, but the results were negative.

According to the NHS, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are examples of genes that raise your cancer risk if they become altered. Having a variant BRCA gene increases a woman's chance of developing breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer.

You are eligible for the NHS test if there is a strong family history of cancer or one of your relatives has been identified as having the gene.

Linda previously told the Yorkshire Post: "I do feel we've had bad luck that the three of us have got it. We don't have the BRCA 1 or 2 gene, we've been tested for that. It could be a rogue gene from our dad's side."

What has Coleen Nolan said about her sisters' cancer battles?

coleen nolan emotional on loose women in abstract print top
Coleen Nolan was emotional on Loose Women this week

Coleen has been open about the struggles of dealing with her siblings' illnesses and the impact it's had on their family.

On Monday, the presenter broke down on Loose Women while discussing her sister Linda's recent update.

Coleen, 58, was visibly upset as she spoke about her sister, telling her fellow panellists: "I'm so sick of it. It just attacks my family all the time, and I know a lot of people go through it but selfishly, you think of yourself. And I'm scared of crying because I don't think I'll stop."

The TV personality previously admitted she considered undergoing a mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer in the future.

SEE: Coleen Nolan has fans in tears with video of sisters Linda and Bernie

"Seeing what Anne and Linda are going through has made me think a lot about having a mastectomy," she confessed to The Mirror.

"I’ve been lying in bed at night, looking down at my breasts and thinking, 'Am I just walking around with two timebombs here?' If that's a possibility, maybe I need to get rid of them."

For further guidance and support, visit Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support.

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