EastEnders' Cheryl Fergison reveals secret cancer battle and how she discovered symptoms

Cheryl Fergison
Cheryl Fergison has revealed how she discovered her womb cancer -Credit:Instagram

EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison has made a poignant plea to other women after she opened up on her own battle with womb cancer.

The actress - best known for her role as the endearing Heather Trott on the BBC show - opened up on her diagnosis with the illness nine years ago.

Despite being in the limelight, she chose to keep her condition away from public scrutiny but is now sharing her experience, including the "dark moments" she faced.

At 58, Cheryl received immense support from fellow EastEnders icons Barbara Windsor and June Brown upon learning of her diagnosis, reports the Mirror.

She underwent a hysterectomy, experienced an early menopause, and came to terms with the fact that she would not be able to have children with her husband Yassineall while keeping her fans in the dark.

Cheryl opened up about the moment she realised something was amiss, telling us: "I'd gone for a regular smear test - which had been clear - but I'd started having a lot of backache and then I began spotting blood, which wasn't normal for me. I had been fitted with a coil to help with very heavy periods but somehow I just knew something didn't feel right."


During a doctor's appointment, she was referred for tests and a biopsy at a local hospital in Kent.

Four months later, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer of the womb.

Recalling the moment she heard the diagnosis, she described it as "an out of body experience" adding: "I was in absolute shock; stunned to the core. I couldn't believe the doctor was talking about me."

Cancer Research UK statistics indicate that approximately 75% of women with Stage 2 womb cancer will survive for five years or more post-diagnosis. However, Cheryl couldn't help but wonder 'why me?' after her diagnosis.

She reflected on her life, saying: "I'd had a new beginning with Yass, everything was perfect. And then this."

Cheryl's diagnosis came shortly after her marriage to Yassine in 2011. During her MRI scans, she recounted a poignant moment: "I remember in the scanner having an earpiece in to listen to music and 'Paradise' by Coldplay was playing. I thought 'this is about as far from Paradise as it's possible to be'."

The actress underwent numerous chest X-rays before doctors advised her to have a full hysterectomy within weeks. She reflected, "All I could think was 'I have to get this thing out of me' but it was very difficult. It impacted how I felt as a woman. I'd not long married Yassine and suddenly any thought of having a child together had been taken away. We may not have gone down that route, of course, but we'd lost the ability to choose. It brought on early menopause too; in terms of how I saw myself as a woman, it felt as if it had all come to an end. It was a horrendous time."

Cheryl received the all-clear last year after consulting with doctors over concerns that her cancer had returned. She experienced backaches and shared, "They looked into it. They had trouble getting hold of my notes but, when they did and they looked at them, it turned out the initial treatment had got all the cancer."

For more information or support about cancer, you can contact Macmillan Cancer Support or you can call 020 7940 1760 for advice.

Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily Showbiz newsletter here.