Comedy actress Caroline Aherne has spoken of her fight against cancer as she urged fellow sufferers in her native Manchester to come together to help improve the city’s high mortality rates for the disease.
The Royle Family star described how she encountered unexpected humour after being diagnosed with cancer for the third time.
Speaking at conference organised by the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership she praised the quality of care she had received but said more needed to be done to boost survival rates in Manchester which has the highest proportion of premature deaths from the disease in the UK.
“So many funny things happen when you're in there [hospital]. You have a right laugh with the nurses but I was on morphine so maybe it was just me laughing. I think that's a way of coping with it. If you can separate yourself from it and have a sense of humour it really helps you and your family,” she said.
Aherne, 50, is a backing the £3.4m campaign to co-ordinate cancer care among hospitals, GPs and hospices in the city where survival rates are 25 per cent below the national average.
The actress and her brother were born with retinal cancer and she later developed bowel cancer. Last month she revealed she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and described how she was in intensive care after undergoing chemotherapy at Wythenshawe Hospital.
“My mum told us that only special people get cancer. I must be very special because I've had it in my lungs and my bladder as well,” she said.
“But things aren't where they should be,” she went on. “We can't allow Manchester to continue to be the worst place in England for premature deaths from cancer, not to mention all the other appalling statistics we've been hearing,” she added.