Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Jackie Collins avoided her doctor for two years

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Jackie Collins avoided her doctor for two years

Jackie Collins avoided her doctor for two years after she first discovered a lump on her breast.

The 77-year-old author, who died last weekend after secretly battling stage-four breast cancer since 2009, admitted she convinced herself she was healthy at the time and avoided a diagnosis because she was "completely doctor-phobic."

Speaking just five days before her death, the best-selling writer said: "I thought, 'I'm not dealing with this,' because in my mind I decided it was benign. I've had to deal with losing my mother (to breast cancer), my husband (prostate cancer) and my fiancé (lung cancer) and I did not want to put pressure on everybody in the family. So I happily, happily went day by day."

But Jackie urged other women not to take the same chances with their health.

She told PEOPLE magazine: "Women should get checkups because it really helps to get diagnosed early. I know we're all told to do it, but some of us are too stupid, and I was one of them.

"That was my choice and maybe it was a foolish one, but it was my choice. Now I want to tell people it shouldn't be their choice."