Former EastEnders star Samantha Womack has said she is breast cancer free, five months after being diagnosed and undergoing chemotherapy.
Talking to OK! magazine, Womack, who is best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in BBC soap EastEnders until 2017, said she is “very grateful to [her] life”.
Appearing alongside her partner and former Coronation Street actor Oliver Farnworth, Womack said her diagnosis and treatment has been a “roller coaster” and has led to her having to take time out from the West End -the production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which she currently stars.
“I had surgery pretty quickly, a lumpectomy and now I’m just having some treatments while I go back to work, as a kind of prevention,” she said.
In another part of the interview, Womack said, “I feel very grateful for my life. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s almost like I can see the beauty in everything now — like everything feels special.
“I keep bursting into tears, because I’m happy.”
The 50-year-old first revealed her breast cancer diagnosis in tribute to Olivia Newton-Johnwho died in August after a long battle with the disease.
Tweeting a photo of her and daughter Chloe with the Grease star, when Womack played the character of Sandy in the West End production, the actress wrote: “This was the most magical evening. Olivia and Chloe had come to see Grease in London and we ate dinner together afterwards.
“I was so excited and in awe, she was my childhood. I am now starting my own battle with this disease and feel deeply moved.”
Since then, Womack has kept her fans and supporters updated on her health and the treatment she continues to receive.
In OctoberWomack shared a video with her 106,000 Instagram followers, thanking them for their support and explaining that she had undergone both a lumpectomy and lymph node removal before starting chemotherapy.
Last month, in her first TV interview since going public about her diagnosis, Womack appeared on This Morning, where she urged other individuals to check their breasts regularly.
She said: “So many women should be checking themselves in their 30s and 40s. There are so many women who would have been diagnosed earlier if they just checked earlier.”
Womack rose to fame as Mandy in the British comedy Game On in the 1990s, and has since appeared in a number of films, television series and stage shows, including the comedy drama Mount Pleasant and the spy series Kingsman.
Originally planning a career in singing, she represented Great Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1991, performing A Message To Your Heart. She was number 10.