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Julie Walters Reveals She Had Bowel Cancer But Is Now Cancer-Free

Julie Walters Reveals She Had Bowel Cancer But Is Now Cancer-Free

Dame Julie Walters has revealed that she has previously suffered from bowel cancer, but has now been given the all clear following surgery and chemotherapy.

The Mamma Mia actor spoke of her disbelief when she received the diagnosis, explaining doctors found she had stage three bowel cancer when they discovered two primary tumours in her large intestine 18 months ago.

Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, the 69-year-old said: "I was still thinking, 'That's ridiculous, he must have made a mistake'. I couldn't believe it."

Dame Julie went on to explain that she had visited her doctor a year earlier because she was in 'slight discomfort' and had indigestion, but then returned to the doctors with vomiting, heartburn and stomach pain.

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After she was referred to a gastric surgeon, she underwent a CT scan.

Dame Julie Walters revealed she'd previously been diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer. Credit: PA
Dame Julie Walters revealed she'd previously been diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer. Credit: PA

She received the phone call telling her to visit a specialist whilst she was on set filming The Secret Garden. Then, the specialist informed her she might have cancer.

Walters spoke about how difficult it was to tell her husband Grant Roffey the bad news.

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She recalled: "I'll never forget his face. Tears came into his eyes."

Once she had the diagnosis, Walters said she maintained hope she'd eventually be OK. Her doctor told her: "We can fix this."

However, while she was waiting for surgery, during which she said she had '30cm taken out of my colon' she admits to thinking: "Well, I may not come round from the anaesthetic."

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She eventually did come around, and spoke about how she remembers 'feeling absolutely marvellous' because of its effects.

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She continued: "I said to the night nurse, 'Is Love Island on?' - because we were talking about it - and we watched it together.

"It was only a couple of days later I thought, I feel exhausted, and a bit low actually."

Julie Walters when she was made a Dame. Credit: PA
Julie Walters when she was made a Dame. Credit: PA

Then followed the chemotherapy treatment, which she described as 'fine' and said it didn't result in the loss of her hair.

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After her treatment, she told Derbyshire that she was doing 'really well' and added: "I've just had a scan, and I know that [I'm] clear."

She added: "The person before the operation is different to this person."

However, this does mean that The Secret Garden, which she had to be cut from after her diagnosis, could be her last ever film.

She said: "It would have to be something I'm really engaged with [to take another role on].

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"I'm not saying I'll never act again. But I certainly don't think I can go back to [a film that requires working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o'clock at night."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, UK Entertainment

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]