Anita Harris said she “almost collapsed” after doctors told her she had breast cancer and needed a double mastectomy in order to survive.
However, the Carry On actress followed her instincts and sought a second opinion following the diagnosis four years ago. She was equally surprised by the results.
“After six weeks I was told by doctors that they now thought they were wrong,” she told Yours Magazine of the agonising ordeal. “I didn't have cancer and didn't need a double mastectomy.”
“If I hadn't been working and begged for extra time… Well, you have to believe in God or the angels or whatever,” she added.
Harris’ health scare came as she rehearsed for her part in musical Stepping Out.
Although she has never spoken about the incident publicly, she admits it’s a period of her life she still thinks about daily.
“I'm not blaming anyone, but certainly I'll always be aware of what might have been if I hadn't asked for more tests. That particular episode has to be the greatest challenge of my life.”
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK.
Around 50,000 women are diagnosed with the disease every year, while 12,000 women die from it each year.
Over 80 per cent of women with breast cancer survive at least five years after diagnosis.
Women aged between 50-70 who are registered with a GP are invited for a breast cancer screening every three years.
Those worried about abnormal lumps or thickened tissue in a breast however are advised to see their GP as soon as possible and not to wait to be invited for a screening.Reuse content