We’re sad to hear the news that Caroline Aherne is battling lung cancer.
The 50-year-old star of The Royle Family and Mrs Merton has previously fought off bladder cancer and cancer of the retina, which she was born with, and is now in recovery after being treated for lung cancer in Manchester.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening news, Caroline said:
‘I’ve had cancer and my brother’s had cancer and we know how it affects people.’
And Caroline’s experiences have pushed her to campaign for better cancer care in Manchester.
‘We’re lucky in Manchester to have some of the best bits of cancer care with places like the Christie, the Nightingale Centre and the Cecelia Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and St Ann’s Hospice – and the last thing I want to do is knock the fantastic work that goes on in this city.
‘It’s brilliant that all these big institutions want to make cancer care better for Manchester people, but even the best doctors, nurses and managers on earth aren’t going to be able to understand what needs improving unless people affected by cancer in Manchester get involved and tell them what needs to change.’
Caroline is now backing a £3.4million campaign in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support which has been put together to help support those with the illness. In Manchester, cancer survival rates are 25% lower than the national average which is something Aherne and the charity want to see change.
‘It’s truly shocking to learn that Manchester came bottom out of 150 areas in England for premature deaths from cancer,’ Caroline said.
‘Our survival rates are a quarter lower than average and the number of people getting lung cancer is a third higher here than in the rest of England.
‘There are too many stories about bad communication leading to patients waiting too long and feeling ignored and abandoned and that same bad communication is contributing to poor statistics on cancer.
‘The partnership needs people like us to start explaining to all the institutions what needs changing so that these big, complex organisations can get together to make the improvements.’
Comedy genius: Caroline was much-loved as Denise, in The Royle Family
Caroline’s lung cancer, and the bladder cancer she battled in the past, are both linked to the eye cancer she suffered from as a baby and neither are thought to be smoking related.
Bowing out of the public eye since the end of the 90s after a difficult time in her personal life, Caroline has returned to our screens as the voiceover on the much-loved Gogglebox.
Speaking of her work, the brave lady said: ‘I will be narrating this week’s Gogglebox, and I will continue to narrate Gogglebox for as long as Gogglebox want me.’
Good on you, Caroline. We hope you make a speedy recovery.
Are you in Manchester and battling cancer? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below