Pop beauty Kylie Minogue has apologised to fans for postponing the Australian leg of her SHOWGIRL TOUR - after being diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

The SPINNING AROUND singer discovered she had the disease earlier this week (begs16MAY05) during a visit to her family in her home town of Melbourne.

Minogue is devastated about letting down fans by cancelling the dates in her native Australia - due to open on Thursday (19MAY05) - but insists there is no alternative because she requires immediate treatment.

The 36-year-old's publicist explains in a statement, "Whilst at home in Melbourne with her family this week, prior to her Australian Showgirl Tour, Kylie was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

"She will undergo immediate treatment and consequently her Australian tour will not be able to proceed as planned."

Minogue adds, "I was so looking forward to bringing the Showgirl tour to Australian audiences.

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

The diminutive star has been an avid supporter of breast cancer charities for many years, and recently raised a staggering GBP2,400 ($4,560) by auctioning her signed bra for BREAST CANCER CARE as part of BREAST CANCER AWARENESS month.

Minogue is the latest in a long list of celebrities who have battled the disease, including Olivia Newton John, DUSTY SPRINGFIELD and more recently Aimee Osbourne and MELISSA EVERIDGE.

17/05/2005 08:23