Actress Tina, who is best known for her roles in Channel 4 comedy Shameless and soap Brookside, found a lump in her breast while trying on new underwear, and 'sobbed in private for weeks' before finally reaching out for help.
'I thought maybe it was scar tissue from breast surgery I had last year,' the 53 year old revealed to The Mirror. 'But it was so prominent, a perfectly formed lump the size of a pea. I got really frightened.
'I sobbed in secret for weeks because I didn't want to burden Paul [Tina's husband], my mother or my friends. I got up every day and put a smile on my face.
'But behind close doors I looked up breast cancer on the internet constantly and began panicking. Eventually I broke down and told Paul.'
Tina, who is mum to two-year-old Flame as well as elder daughter Dannielle, was sent to the Linda McCartney Centre at Royal Liverpool Hospital for a scan, but the tests came back inconclusive and she'll need further testing.
'They suspect it's a fibro-ademona, which is a benign lump. But I have to wait a few weeks to know for sure,' Tina told the paper.
The actress credits her discovery of the lump to her recent body makeover, which she embarked upon after losing 11 stone in weight with the help of a gastric band.
The operations, including excess skin removal, a breast lift and implants. Tina, who says she 'hated' her breasts previously, explained that she was unlikely to have checked them before the surgery, but now she'll 'check them everyday', and encourage other women to do the same.
As she awaits her results, Tina has set her sights firmly on the future - including becoming a grandmother for the first time in June.
'I haven't told Danielle anything about my scare because I didn't want to worry her. If breast cancer had been confirmed, I wouldn't have told her until after she had the baby,' she added.
'I'm not afraid of pain but there is so much more I want do to with my life. I want to see my daughters graduate. And although I'm never going to be a gym bunny, I'd like to run a 10k for a cancer charity. I still want to conquer the world. But most of all, I'm just grateful for every moment.'