EastEnders star shares personal details of ‘terrifying’ cancer diagnosis

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Melanie Macleod

Former EastEnders actress Sam Womack was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, and opened up about her diagnosis for the first time during an interview with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

SEE: Samantha Womack makes special appearance after cancer diagnosis

When the duo asked how she was getting on, Sam said: “I’m really good. I was diagnosed three, four months ago with breast cancer. It was really incredible because I didn’t find a lump, I didn’t feel unwell. There had been a lot of illness around our friends and family and I just thought I’d get a random check and I had an ultrasound, and it showed a little shadow – at that point it could be anything, a cyst… then I had further investigations and then that diagnosis.”

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Sam went on to give details on her treatment, explaining: “I was lucky, it was less than two centimetres. I had a lumpectomy, which is just a piece of tissue removed and five lymph nodes.

READ: EastEnders star Sam Womack reveals cancer diagnosis with emotional statement

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“The mad thing about cancer, when you have it, you understand there are so many different roads, different diagnoses, it is a terrifying world. It’s terrifying at the beginning but if there was ever a time to have it, there are so many new treatments now that are changing the face of cancer, it’s amazing.”

The actress, who turned 50 at the start of November, shared the news of her cancer on social media, despite tending to be reticent to post personal details online.

Samantha Womack talked about her cancer diagnosis with Holly and Phil

“I always had quite a precarious relationship with what you share on social media but also challenging yourself, thinking, ‘Am I doing this because I want likes or am I doing this because there’s actual genuine intention behind it?’

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“So at the beginning, I was like, ‘I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do’ and then Lily, my daughter, was in the kitchen with Ollie [Samantha’s partner] cooking and she read about Olivia Newton-John, and she was on her phone. She just read it in the kitchen.

Sam explained why she shared her cancer diagnosis

“I felt very moved by it… I thought, ‘I want to share it. I want to talk to people. I want to put it out there’ and it was amazing, the love that came back. I felt empowered by it.”

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