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Amy Dowden reveals why she kept cancer fears secret from husband Ben

The Strictly star discovered a lump shortly before her honeymoon with Ben Jones

Amy Dowden in a pink dress and white coat arm in arm with her husband
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Amy Dowden has been praised for her candid account of her cancer diagnosis since May 2023, but behind closed doors, she was afraid to break the news to her husband Ben Jones.

The couple had got married in July 2022 and were preparing for their honeymoon in the Maldives in April 2023 when Amy discovered a lump, but she didn't tell Ben until her second appointment at the doctor's following their return to the UK.

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During an appearance on Loose Women on Friday, the Strictly Come Dancing professional explained the reason for the delay. "I knew," she told the panel, recalling her family's history with breast cancer. "And I didn't tell my husband Ben, I went on the honeymoon. And every day you're putting suntan lotion on and I could feel it. And I just had this gut feeling."

When asked why she didn't share her fears with her husband, she replied with a sheepish smile: "Well he wouldn't have gone on the honeymoon. I really wanted this honeymoon and this break. And what could we have done?"

Amy Dowden in a hospital bed© Instagram
Amy has been open about her cancer diagnis

Amy continued: "I didn't want to worry anybody until we knew. I came back and I made an appointment with the GP and she sent me for an emergency referral. I can remember coming out of that and ringing my twin sister.

"I just knew…I had an ultrascan and I already knew what [breast cancer] looks like," the dancer explained, adding there were lots of warning signs like the presence of a breast cancer nurse, leaflets for her to read and even the telling demeanour of the doctors and nurses around her.

Amy dowden on red carpet with twin sister Becky© Getty
Amy's twin sister Becky was one of the first people she turned to for support

Recalling her call with her sister, she said: "It wasn't confirmed. I was in floods of tears, and she was saying, 'We don't know.' And I said, 'Don't tell Ben, I don't want to panic Ben.'"

For her following appointment, the nurse asked if she had someone accompanying her, and when she said she hadn't, she was told to ask someone to join her. It was at this point that her husband found out about her medical appointments. 

Amy Dowden in blue dress and Ben Jones in black tuxedo© David Fisher/Shutterstock
The Strictly star revealed her husband has been very supportive

The Loose Women asked how Ben reacted to hearing the news, especially since he had been in the dark about it, but Amy explained he was very supportive

"Ben's really positive. And I think he was scared and overwhelmed and in shock," she said, adding that she still didn't get a confirmed diagnosis that day while they sent biopsies off for testing. 

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By the next appointment, Amy had a strong support group around her, including her twin sister and her husband. "The surgeon said to me, 'You've got breast cancer,' and then in the next sentence, 'What're your plans for children?'" explaining that she would have to go into menopause to suppress her estrogen. 

Amy first opened up about her diagnosis in May, telling HELLO!: "You just don't ever think it's going to happen to you. I hadn't thought it was possible to get breast cancer at my age. My mum has had breast cancer, but she had it at a later age, in her 50s."

WATCH: Amy Dowden returned to the studios for the first time following her cancer diagnosis

The star briefly made a return to Strictly during Movie Week and updated fans on how she's feeling. "I'm doing really well. I'm over halfway through treatment for chemo and I can't wait to be back with you all permanently!"

DISCOVER: Strictly's Karen Hauer breaks silence following exit from show after split reports

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