Hollyoaks star reveals thyroid cancer diagnosis aged 28


The actress said doctors relayed her concerns, saying she was “young” and “probably over a cold.”

The actress announced the news to her followers on Instagram, saying she “didn’t expect for a moment to get the message I got.”


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Ms Phillips said the two lumps on her neck were previously “disclosed” by doctors who “said I was ‘young’ and it was nothing'”.

A social media post from former Love Island star Demi Jones, who was previously diagnosed with thyroid cancer, encouraged the ex-Hollyoaks actress to see a specialist.


What did Abi Phillips say about her diagnosis?

Ms Phillips explained that she was “previously sent away by doctors after finding two lumps in my throat.


“They passed it on and said I was ‘young’ and it was nothing and I would ‘probably get over a cold’ or my body was ‘fighting something’.”

She added: “I took these pictures before my scans and after my biopsy and I laughed at how ridiculously dressed I looked before a gig at the hospital and didn’t wait for a moment to get the news that I was two weeks later have done. ”


Though doctors voiced their concerns, she said she wanted “to have everything checked out on my own soul.”

She said: “I checked in with a specialist and she immediately told me she was very concerned about where my lumps were and referred me for an urgent biopsy and scans.”


The actress, who played Liberty Savage on the Channel 4 soap opera from 2010 to 2013, said she received the diagnosis two weeks later from a consultant at Birmingham’s QE Hospital.

She said she was told she needed surgery and radiation therapy.


“I never thought that at the age of 28 I would be told I had cancer. You never think it’s going to happen to you,” she said.

What made the actress see a specialist?


Ms Phillips added that she would not have seen a specialist if she hadn’t seen a social media post by Demi Jones, a former contestant on reality TV show Love Island, who had previously been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

She said: “Her lumps were in the exact same place as mine.


“If you ever find a lump or anything unusual on your body, never just think it’s nothing, don’t let your GP tell you you’re fine and ‘young’, always let things go see a specialist if you can and insist on testing even if it turns out nothing comes up because early detection is critical to a good prognosis.”

She added, “By this time next week I’ll be on the mend after my surgery.”


What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid — a small gland at the base of your neck that produces hormones.


It occurs most commonly in people in their 30s and over 60 years of age. Women get sick two to three times more often than men.

According to the NHS, symptoms of thyroid cancer can include:

  • a painless lump or swelling in the front of the neck – although only 1 in 20 neck lumps is cancer
  • swollen glands in the neck
  • inexplicable hoarseness that does not improve after a few weeks
  • Sore throat that doesn’t get better
  • difficulties swallowing

The NHS is advising people to see a GP if they have symptoms of thyroid cancer.

A GP will examine your throat and may order a blood test to check how well your thyroid is working.


If they think you may have cancer, or if they’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms, you’ll be referred to a hospital specialist for further tests.

What can cause thyroid cancer?


Thyroid cancer occurs when there is a change in the DNA in the thyroid cells that causes them to grow out of control and produce a clump.

It’s not usually clear what causes this change, but there are a number of things that can increase your risk.

  • other thyroid disorders such as B. an inflamed thyroid gland (thyroiditis) or goiter – but not an overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Family history of thyroid cancer – Your risk is higher if a close relative has had thyroid cancer
  • Radiation exposure in childhood – like radiation therapy
  • obesity
  • a bowel disease called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Acromegaly – a rare condition in which the body produces too much growth hormone