Kylie Minogue Prepares For Breast Cancer Surgery

Australian pop singer was diagnosed with an early stage of the disease this week.

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue is undergoing tests in preparation for breast cancer surgery later this week. The singer announced that she had been diagnosed with an early stage of the cancer on Tuesday, and subsequently canceled her Showgirl Tour of Australia and Asia to seek immediate treatment.

"Kylie is currently undergoing tests at a first class medical facility in Melbourne in preparation for an operation this week by one of Australia's leading surgeons," a statement from her management read. "Thankfully, tests so far have confirmed the earlier diagnosis that the cancer appears to be confined to the breast" (see "Kylie Minogue Diagnosed With Breast Cancer").

The diagnosis of early breast cancer indicates that the disease has not spread to any vital organs and can be surgically removed, according to a Reuters report. The surgery typically involves cutting out the cancer, or, if it is larger, removing the breast. The surgery is then followed up by radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatments that could last from six weeks to six months.

In a statement released Thursday (May 19), Minogue, 36, thanked fans, who had so overwhelmed her official Web site with messages of support that it was running at a reduced capacity and facing periodic shutdowns.

"My heartfelt thanks to the incredible number of people who have sent messages of love and support over the last two days," Minogue wrote on the site. "I want to reassure you that I am being well taken care of. [Boyfriend] Olivier [Martinez] is by my side and I have a lot of family and friends around me. I would also like to extend my best wishes to all of the other women around Australia and around the world who are dealing with the same illness".

Minogue encouraged fans who are thinking of sending cards or flowers to make donations to breast cancer charities instead.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Australian women, according to statistics from the National Breast Cancer Center in Sydney; it is the second most deadly cancer in the U.S. behind lung cancer. According to the Center, the five-year survival rate for Australian women with breast cancer between 1992 and 1997 was 84 percent.