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Sophie Kinsella, bestselling British author of the Shopaholic series, reveals 'aggressive' brain cancer diagnosis

Sophie Kinsella, bestselling British author of the Shopaholic series, reveals 'aggressive' brain cancer diagnosis


Bestselling British author Sophie Kinsella says she “generally feels great” after undergoing chemotherapy for an “aggressive” form of brain cancer.

Kinsella, real name Madeleine Sophie Wickham, announced the news on Instagram, revealing that the cancer had been diagnosed in late 2022.

“I have wanted to share with you something about my health for a long time and have been waiting for the strength to do so,” she wrote.

“In late 2022, I was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of aggressive brain cancer.

“I haven't shared this before because I wanted to make sure my children could hear and process the news privately and adjust to our 'new normal'.”

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Success with the Shopaholic series

Kinsella, 54, has written more than 30 novels under her pseudonym Sophie Kinsella and under the name Madeleine Wickham.

In 2009, the first two novels in his Shopaholic series were adapted into the film Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Australian actor Isla Fisher.

Messages of support flooded Kinsella's post, with Fisher writing: “Sending you so much love and healing energy.”

A young woman sitting on her bedroom floor looks stressed while surrounded by shoes and clothes

Sophie Kinsella has written 10 books in the Shopaholic series.(Archives Du 7eme Art/Photo12 via AFP)

“You were the first adult fiction I ever read, at the age of 17. I owe you a lot,” wrote Gillian McAllister, another author.

Kinsella says she received treatment at University College Hospital in London and underwent successful surgery, then radiotherapy and chemotherapy, “which are still ongoing”.

“At the moment everything is stable and I generally feel very good, although I am very tired and my memory is even worse than before!”

Kinsella said she was grateful to her family, friends and the “wonderful doctors and nurses who looked after me.”

Kinsella's latest novel, The Burnout, was released in October 2023.

“I am also very grateful to my readers for their continued support,” she added.

“The wonderful response to The Burnout has really lifted my spirits during a difficult time.”

Signs and symptoms of brain cancer

It is estimated that more than 1,900 people were diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia last year, according to the Cancer Council.

Headaches are often the first symptom of a brain tumor, along with other symptoms such as:

  • Seizures: severe (for example, a seizure) or mild (a temporary disturbance of consciousness, sensations or muscle twitches)
  • Weakness or paralysis of a part of the body
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • General irritability, sleepiness, or personality change
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disturbed vision, hearing, smell or taste.

The average age at diagnosis is 59 years and there is currently no national brain cancer screening program in Australia.

“To everyone suffering from cancer in any form, I send my love and best wishes, and to those who support them,” Kinsella wrote.

“It can be very lonely and scary to have a difficult diagnosis, and the support and care of those around you means more than words can say.”




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