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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Kylie to start cancer treatment
Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue has been with her family in Melbourne
Singer Kylie Minogue is to begin treatment for breast cancer amid an outpouring of support from fans, friends and politicians.

The star could be admitted to hospital as early as Wednesday, according to reports in her native Australia.

Her website has been disabled due to the "overwhelming response" from fans.

And Australian Prime Minister John Howard sent the 36-year-old his best wishes. "I think all Australians feel for her and wish her well," he said.

The news of her illness came on Tuesday, when she cancelled the rest of her world tour and an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival.

Kylie and Dannii Minogue
I know all your kind thoughts will mean the world to her as she gets better
Dannii Minogue
Sister
Her statement said she would "undergo immediate treatment".

And promoter Michael Gudinski said: "I think you'll find she'll be in hospital in the next couple of days."

After starting out acting in TV soap Neighbours, she has been a global pop star for 17 years and a national treasure in her home country.

Mr Howard said he hoped the disease "has been detected in the very early stages and she will make a full recovery".

"Any young woman of that age to be diagnosed with that condition - it does send a shudder through you," he added.

The Premier of the state of Victoria, Steve Bracks, urged the media camped outside the Minogue family home to respect the singer's privacy.

"These are private matters between the clinician and the patient and they are enshrined in laws as private matters," he said.

Nobody really knows what's going on - not even Kylie herself
Michael Peschardt
BBC correspondent in Melbourne
The BBC's Michael Peschardt in Melbourne said the nature of her treatment was not yet known.

"The diagnosis is still so fresh. Everybody here is feeling optimistic that she will pull through," he said.

"Details of her treatment are few and far between because nobody really knows what's going on - not even Kylie herself."

The news of the disease was only released because she had concerts in Australia later this week, he said - otherwise she would have waited until she had a clearer idea of the prognosis.

Minogue family home in Melbourne
The media are camped outside the Minogue family home
Michael Peschardt also said the singer has had support from fellow Australian star Olivia Newton-John.

"She's a friend of Kylie's, she's had breast cancer and she survived," he said.

"We know they spent some time together yesterday, talking about the disease, how to treat it and how to cope with the stress."

Minogue's pop star sister Dannii said Kylie would take heart from the messages of support.

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

Chart-topper

"I know all your kind thoughts will mean the world to her as she gets better."

Kylie Minogue has had 27 Top 10 hits in the UK ranging from her first number one, I Should Be So Lucky, in 1988 to her most recent hit, Giving You Up, which reached number six last month.

She is less well-known in the US, but hit the top 10 there in 2002 with her hit single Can't Get You Out of My Head and won a Grammy Award for best dance recording.

She has also helped raise money for breast cancer causes over recent years. One of her skimpiest bras was sold at auction for 2,400 three years ago for Breast Cancer Care.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See Kylie on stage during her UK Showgirl tour



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