Hollyoaks star Abi Phillips has revealed she has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer after getting two lumps tested in her neck.
The actress, 28, who played Liberty Savage on the soap, shared the shocking news with her Instagram followers on Monday evening, revealing that she had been given the diagnosis last month.
Abi said she was originally told there was nothing to worry about by a doctor, before asking for a second opinion after Love Islander Demi Jones raised awareness by sharing the location of her own tumours.
Sad news: Hollyoaks star Abi Phillips has revealed she has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer after getting two lumps tested in her neck
Abi admitted she never expected to be told she had cancer, and said: ‘So, I took these pictures before my scans and after my biopsy having a good old laugh about how ridiculously dressed up I looked in the hospital before a gig, not expecting for one moment to get the news that I did two weeks later…
She explained that she was originally told that the lumps were ‘nothing to worry about’ and she was likely just recovering from a minor illness.
She said: ‘I’d previously been sent away from the doctors after having found two lumps in my neck, they’d passed it off and said I was ‘young’ and it wouldn’t be anything and I was ‘probably getting over a cold’ or my body was ‘fighting something off’.
‘As much as that’s what I wanted to hear I wanted to get everything checked for my own peace of mind. I booked in with a specialist and immediately she told me she was very concerned due to where my lumps were located and referred me for an urgent biopsy and scans.’
Selfie: The actress, 28, who played Liberty Savage on the soap, shared the shocking news with her Instagram followers on Monday evening, revealing that she had been given the diagnosis last month (pictured following her biopsy)
Opening up: Abi shared a long passage about her experience on her Instagram page
Abi went on to reveal that a consultant later confirmed the worst and told her that her cancer would need urgent surgery and radiotherapy treatment.
She said: ‘Fast forward two weeks and just before Easter weekend I had an appointment to see a consultant at the QE [Queen Elizabeth] hospital who sat me down and told me that I had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and that I would need surgery and radiotherapy treatment.
‘I never thought I would be told that I have cancer at the age of 28, you never think it’s going to happen to you.
Abi added that she wouldn’t have pushed to see a specialist if it weren’t for Demi sharing her thyroid cancer ordeal on social media, and realised that their lumps were ‘in the exact same place’.
Inspired: Abi added that she wouldn’t have pushed to see a specialist if it weren’t for Demi sharing her thyroid cancer ordeal on social media, and realised that their lumps were ‘in the exact same place’
Urging her followers to be proactive about their health, Abi continued: ‘If ever you find a lump or something unusual on your body, never just think it’s nothing, don’t be told that you’re fine by the GP and you’re ‘young’, always get things checked out by a specialist if you can and insist on tests even if it turns out to be nothing, as catching things early is crucial for a good prognosis.
‘This time next week I’ll be on the road to recovery after my operation.’
Abi found fame on Hollyoaks at the age of 16 when she debuted as Liberty in 2010. She also famously wrote the song Missing You that featured in Steph Cunningham’s death scene.
She’s also a singer and released her first song, Summer Sunshine, in 2011, while also appearing on The Voice UK in 2017.
Artist: As well as being an actor, Abi is also a singer and released her first song, Summer Sunshine, in 2011, while also appearing on The Voice UK in 2017
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THYROID CANCER?
The main symptom of thyroid cancer is a lump in the front of the neck. But the disease tends to develop slowly and may not cause any symptoms at first.
Thyroid cancer often causes a painless lump or swelling low down in the front of the neck.
However, neck lumps are common and are usually caused by a less serious condition, such as an enlarged thyroid. Only around 1 in every 20 is cancer. A lump is more likely to be cancer if it:
See your GP if you have a swelling or lump at the front of your neck. While it’s unlikely to be cancer, it’s important to get it checked out.
Other symptoms include:
Rarely, thyroid cancer can affect the production of thyroid hormones and cause diarrhoea and flushing.
Source: NHS Choices
During an interview in March 2022, Demi revealed she is ‘learning to live with’ her side effects after battling thyroid cancer.
The reality star, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, before being given the all-clear in December, admitted her life will ‘never be the same.’
Demi, who added that things are ‘going brilliantly’ since she was declared cancer-free, told OK!: ‘The people I’ve spoken to with cancer, we always say there’s life before cancer and there’s life after cancer and it’s never the same.
‘My life will never be the same’: During an interview in March 2022, Demi revealed she is ‘learning to live with’ her side effects after battling thyroid cancer
‘You have to differentiate your life in two sections, so I’m learning to live with it and I’m learning to live with side effects and everything. But everything is going brilliant.’
Demi added that she no longer worries about the ‘little things’ in life that used to make her upset, and she has encouraged others to enjoy themselves and ‘have fun’.
She said: ‘I’m still dealing with my dad at home, who is terminally ill, I’ve overcome cancer and I think life is so short. Enjoy yourself, do what you want to do, spend the money when you want to spend it and just have fun.’
On the mend: Demi, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, before being given the all-clear in December, admitted her life will ‘never be the same’
Demi announced she was free of cancer in December 2021, just seven months after being diagnosed.
She posed next to the entrance sign for Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth as she broke the news across social media.
She wrote alongside the snap: ‘I’M CANCER FREE!!!! I did it! I got my full body scan results back and there’s not a single cancer cell left in my body.
‘It’s been such a difficult year mentally and physically for me with my surgeries and treatment but I’m beyond grateful for everyone’s kindness and support over this past year.
‘I will continue to be an advocate for cancer awareness and all my love and strength goes out to those who continue to fight this awful disease, here’s to a healthy and happy 2022.’
Been through it: Demi was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in May 2021 after discovering a lump on her neck (pictured after undergoing surgery)
The disease develops in the cells of thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland found just below Adam’s apple in the neck.
Tell-tale signs include a lump on the neck, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and hoarseness.
She has been open about her diagnosis throughout her journey with the disease.
The TV star had two surgeries after doctors found a golf ball sized tumour in her neck and had treatment in September.