Terri Dwyer's secret battle with cancer
Former 'Hollyoaks' star Terri Dwyer has battled skin cancer.
The 42-year-old actress has revealed she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma last July but is now making good recovery following surgery to remove the patch on her back.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, she said: "As soon as the doctor mentioned my lymph nodes and said the word 'cancer' I didn't really hear anything else. I just panicked."
She added: "I was thinking, 'Oh my God, my kids - am I going to die like my mum?' I couldn't bear the thought of my sons growing up without a mother."
The blonde beauty - who has sons Caiden, nine, and Kylan, five, with her husband Sean - believes her skin cancer was caused by sun bed sessions when she was a teenager.
She explained: "I had a sun bed at home for a year when I was 18 ... The doctors cannot be 100 per cent sure but in my case they say it's highly likely the cancer was caused by my use of sun beds."
Terri - whose mother Doreen died at just 44 from ovarian cancer and father Tony passed away aged 50 of stomach cancer - is still trying to come to terms with her illness and has only just told her eldest son Caiden of her battle.
She explained: "I feel I've had a lucky escape but even now, on a bad day I still have irrational thoughts in which I imagine my children growing up without me."
The brave beauty is now on a mission to spread the word about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning beds.