Julie Walters has recently revealed that she received the diagnosis of stage three bowel cancer 18 months ago.
The 69-year-old said doctors discovered two primary tumors in her large intestine. She had to undergo chemotherapy. She said after chemo, she was told that she is cancer-free.
Taking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC, Walters said she first went to see her doctor for complaints of indigestion and mild abdominal discomfort. However, later, she again went to see her doctor for more serious symptoms, including heartburn, vomiting, and stomach pain.
The Mamma Mia actress was then referred to a gastric surgeon who performed a CT scan and later called her to tell her about the diagnosis.
Explaining how she felt after receiving the diagnosis, Walters said, “Shock. First of all, shock. And I thought ‘Right.’ Then you hold on to the positive which was that he said ‘We can fix this.’”
She also recalled how her husband, Grant Roffey, reacted to the news by having tears in his eyes. She said, “I’ll never forget his face.”
She had to undergo surgery to remove the tumors from her colon.
Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, Genevieve Edwards, said, “We are very sorry to hear Dame Julie has been treated for bowel cancer. We are incredibly grateful to her for speaking so openly about her diagnosis.”
“It’s only by talking publicly about this disease and raising awareness that we can encourage more people to take action if they have concerns,” Edwards added.
Edwards also went on to encourage people who receive a free NHS bowel cancer-screening test in the post, stating “could save your life.”
Bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It was estimated that will be more than 140,000 new cases of bowel cancer in 2019.
At least one in 20 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer. One in 3 Americans are not up-to-date with their bowel cancer screening.