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Kylie pledges: `I'll be back soon'.

Byline: By Mark Smith

Kylie Minogue last night vowed to her fans she would "be back with you all again soon" after revealing she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The 36-year-old is set to have immediate treatment for the cancer, which is in its early stages.

Kylie postponed the Australian leg of her tour, which was scheduled to start on Thursday, and pulled out of her headline appearance at Glastonbury.

The former Neighbours actress thanked well-wishers for their messages of support and was said to be in strong spirits despite receiving the diagnosis yesterday morning.

The Australian soap star-turned-singer has been in Australia enjoying a break with her boyfriend of two years, French actor Olivier Martinez, 39.

The diminutive pop princess was set to fly to Sydney yesterday to begin rehearsals for the Australian Showgirl tour.

But she remained in Melbourne with her family and her boyfriend after receiving the news.

The couple have been spending time together since Kylie completed her three-month UK tour with a huge concert in London.

Kylie apologised for disappointing fans who were gearing up for the Australian tour of five cities, or for Glastonbury, the climax of her world tour.

She told them: "I was so looking forward to bringing the Showgirl tour to Australia and to Glastonbury, and am sorry to have to disappoint my fans.

"Nevertheless, hopefully all will work out fine and I'll be back with you all again soon."

A statement from Kylie's management said: "Whilst at home in Melbourne with her family this week prior to her Australian Showgirl Tour, Kylie was diagnosed with early breast cancer. She will undergo immediate treatment and consequently her Australian tour will not be able to proceed as planned."

Experts say breast cancer is rare in someone of Kylie's age ( about 2,000 women in their 20s and 30s are diagnosed in the UK every year.

There is not thought to be a history of breast cancer in Kylie's family.

Her father has had treatment for prostate cancer, but research on the link between breast and prostrate cancer has been, for the most part, inconclusive.

Kylie has worked to raise money for breast cancer over recent years and has regularly helped to publicise Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

An operation to remove the tumour would be the most likely starting point for the star, in what could be months of treatment.

Kylie is one of the world's richest singers ( she has an estimated fortune of pounds 35m ( and has won legions of fans in a career that has spanned more than 20 years.

A continual reinvention of her music and look ( not to mention a string of high-profile romances ( has kept Kylie in the public eye.

But it was as feisty mechanic Charlene Mitchell in Neighbours that Kylie won over her native Australian public and the hearts of British viewers.

Kylie, who left Neighbours in 1988, began her singing career with bubblegum-pop hits like I Should Be So Lucky.

But after what looked like the end of her career, Kylie refashioned herself, with the help of tiny hotpants, as a sexy adult.

Her appearance in Glastonbury next month was to have been the final showpiece to her world tour, after which the singer was set to take some time off.

Messages of support poured in for Kylie last night. Dannii Minogue, 33, a pop star like her older sister, said the Minogue family were optimistic Kylie would make a return to full health.

"The news is very upsetting, although as the cancer has been diagnosed at such an early stage we are all very optimistic that everything will be OK," she said.

"We're all very thankful for the endless messages of love and support Kylie has been receiving."

Kylie's great-uncle Ronald Riddiford spoke of his feeling of disbelief.

The 73-year-old, from Maesteg, south Wales, said: "I am shocked, the whole family has been shocked to hear the news.

"You have just got to hope for the best."

Former boyfriend and ex-Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan said Kylie would "fight" the disease.

He said: "I was shocked and concerned to hear of Kylie's illness.

"My thoughts are with her and her family at this difficult time."

Music guru and former Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman, who launched Kylie's pop career with No 1 hits like I Should Be So Lucky with record company Stock Aitken & Waterman in 1988, also sent a message of support.

Waterman said: "I am so shocked to hear this news particularly since Mike Stock and I had a very poignant reunion with her at her recent Earls Court gig where there were a lot of hugs and kisses.

"My very best wishes go to her, and of course her family, at this difficult time ( my heart goes out to her."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 18, 2005
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