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'Mamma Mia!' Star Julie Walters Reveals Stage-3 Bowel Cancer Diagnosis

Julie Walters attends the British Independent Film Awards on December 10, 2017.
February 20, 2020 - 18:21 / Hayley Paskevich

A year and a half ago, actress Julie Walters experienced quite a shock at the doctor's office when she was told she had colorectal cancer. Find out how she's doing now!

Julie Walters is opening up about her cancer diagnosis, and how it completely changed her perspective! In a recent interview with BBC's Victoria Derbyshire that aired Thursday, Walters revealed that she received the surprising diagnosis 18 months ago. 

She explained that while she was filming The Secret Garden, doctors happened to find an intestinal abnormality following a CT scan. It was that abnormality that turned out to be stage 3 colorectal cancer, more commonly referred to as bowel cancer. "I was still thinking, ‘That’s ridiculous, he must have made a mistake’. I couldn’t believe it,” Walters shared.

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Mamma Mia! Star Julie Walters Reveals Stage-3 Bowel Cancer Diagnosis

Walters on diagnosis: it "completely changed" her thoughts

Walters recounted the unforgettable moment she had to tell her husband Grant Roffey the news about her diagnosis. "Tears came into his eyes," she said. Still, her doctors encouraged her that her condition would be treatable, and Walters ended up having nearly a foot of her colon removed. She also shared that she underwent chemotherapy. 

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As of now, Walters is doing "really well", with her cancer having gone into remission. She shared that "she just had a scan and knows [I'm] clear". Still, the experience has made her think differently about her career. "I certainly don’t think I can go back to [working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o’clock at night," she admitted.

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That's because Walters says her thoughts on acting have "completely changed" since her diagnosis. She reveals that it came as a relief to her to take a break from the "merry go-round" of constant work. "I was due to do two big series… and there were two films," Walters shares. "And I just didn’t have to do any of it. And that was wonderful".