Actress Lynda Bellingham’s son believes her life could have been saved if she had been given a simple test for cancer.
Michael Peluso told the Mirror newspaper that a number of tests had been carried out over a year and a half without finding anything wrong.
He said if his mother - famous for her role as a mum in the Oxo adverts and as a Loose Women presenter - had been given a colonoscopy, it could have led to the early discovery of the disease, a key factor in successful treatment.
“She [Bellingham] was a massive champion for getting a colonoscopy. It would have saved her life,” he said.
“They missed it so much. She had two stool tests, a blood test and they never found it.
“She was carrying cancer for 18 months before she discovered she had it.”
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to look at the lining of a patient's large bowel for polyps, inflammation or signs of cancer.
According to the Mirror, Bellingham said before she died: “I always had a stool test and had always gone for a check-up but this (cancer) hides. Put £1 away for a colonoscopy when you are 60. It's the only way you can know for sure.”
Lynda Bellingham: Life in pictures
Lynda Bellingham: Life in pictures
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Lynda Bellingham poses holding her medal after being invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on 14 March 2014
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Lynda Bellingham with (left to right) sons Michael and Robert, husband Michael and step-son Bradley arrive at Buckingham Palace in central London for an Investiture Ceremony where she received an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) on 14 March 2014 in London
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Lynda Bellingham and Michael Pattemore attend the BAFTA Television Craft Awards at The Brewery on 27 April 2014 in London
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Lynda Bellingham attends The Laurence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House on 28 April 2013 in London
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(L-R) Carol McGiffin, Lynda Bellingham, Denise Welch, Kate Thornton, Leslie Garrett and Andrea McLean on 20 January 2010
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Lynda Bellingham and her dance partner Darren Bennett on 2009 Strictly Come Dancing
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(L-R) Amy Lame, Diana Moran, Ruth Lorenzo, Laila Morse and Lynda Bellingham launch the 'If I can do it...' Cancer Research Race for Life campaign on 2 March 2009 in London
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'Loose Women' Presenters (L-R) Sherrie Hewson, Coleen Nolan, Carol McGriffin, Jackie Brambles, Lynda Bellingham and Jane McDonld arrive for the TV Quick & TV Choice awards at the Dorchester Hotel on 3 September 2007 in London
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II chats to guests at the ITV 50th Anniversary celebration, including (R - L) Nicholas Parsons, Lynda Bellingham and Harry Hill on 13 October 2005 in London
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(L to R) Actors Dame Diana Rigg, Robert Bathurst, Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Fry, Jane Asher and Lynda Bellingham attend the Stars Shine For Autism Christmas Concert on 2 December 2003 in London
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Nickolas Grace and Lynda Bellingham on 24 February 1999
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Lynda Bellingham with her sons in 1991
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A scene during rehearsal for an Oxo TV advertisment which was screened in 1987, with Lynda Bellingham and her on-screen husband, Michael Redfern
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Film producer Greg Smith (left) with his bride actress Lynda Bellingham after their marriage, accompanied by the best man actor Robin Askwith, on 7 November 1975
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Actress Lynda Bellingham on 4 October 1972
Mr Peluso added that the family had been comforted by the public outpouring of support.
“A lot of people have said how sorry they are for you and it must be so hard. I feel so, so lucky because they are thousands of people going through the same thing right now but they don’t have that support,” he said.
Bellingham, 66, had spoken of her plans to spend one more Christmas with her family just days before she lost her battle with cancer.
She was diagnosed last July but in late September disclosed that she had decided to end her treatment to limit the amount of suffering her family would witness.
She died in her husband's arms at a London hospital on 19 October.
Her book, There's Something I've Been Dying To Tell You, discusses her illness in detail and has spent weeks at the top of the best-seller lists.
The Press Association contributed to this reportReuse content