Loose Women: Crissy Rock on her childhood abuse ordeal
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The 63-year-old, who has also appeared on I’m A Celebrity..Get Me Out of Here! in 2011 was emotional when talking about her ordeal with vulva cancer. First diagnosed in 2000, the star had three operations across a five-year period. After having a hysterectomy at the age of 24, the star admitted that she did not think she needed to go for a smear test, making her diagnosis even more shocking, and prompting her to later take part in The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night, where a group of female celebs stripped off to raise awareness about the importance of early health checks.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Crissy was being treated for thrush. But three years later, the star found herself needing reconstructive surgery after doctors removed the cancer.
Talking about this stage in her life, the actor said: “When the doctor said cancer I actually looked around thinking, ‘Who’s he talking to?’
“The reason it wasn’t detected is because normally women go for smear tests, but I had an hysterectomy when I was 24 and I didn’t think I needed a smear test.”
A smear test, or cervical screening is a health check on the cervix. The NHS explains that it is not used to detect cancer, but to prevent it, and all women between the ages of 25 and 64 should be invited regularly to have the procedure.
For Crissy, who had had her womb surgically removed, smear tests were still important to check for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Types of HPV can cause abnormal changes in the cells within the cervix, leading to diseases such as cervical cancer.
Vulva cancer is a rare type of cancer that tends to affect women over the age of 65. The Mayo Clinic explains that the vulva is the area of skin that surrounds the urethra and vagina, including the clitoris and labia and cancer within the area usually forms as an itchy lump or sore within the area.
A thickened patch of skin is also a common sign of the condition. This patch of skin may appear red, white, or dark-coloured, and you may also find a wart-like growth on the vulva. Other patients have reported bleeding from the bulbs, a burning pain when passing urine, or having blood-stained discharge between periods.
“I was three stages away from getting a full vulvectomy when they removed the cancer and the area needs to be packed and unpacked daily, leaving an open wound,” Crissy continued to say when detailing her ordeal.
“I was able to have the cancer removed and then reconstructed, and I’m still here. But I would love to make people more aware of cancer of the vulva.
“One of the hardest things was being treated in the GU clinic, which treats sexually transmitted diseases; that makes you feel dirty.
“But then the other thing is once they have finished everything it’s like, ‘Okay, have a nice life’. And you’re thinking, hang on a minute…”
Left physically and mentally scarred by her brush with cancer, things sadly took a worrying turn for Crissy. After receiving chemotherapy to treat the cancer, she was left with severe side effects – a bloated face and tooth loss.
In an attempt to fix her insecurities Crissy went under the knife for a facelift but, when she woke up, she was told by professionals that the procedure nearly resulted in her bleeding to death.
Talking to the Liverpool Echo Crissy explained: “Years ago I was given chemotherapy which bloated my face and made my teeth fall out.
“I wore a denture which nobody knew about but when my face went down I was left with a double chin. I always was conscious about it so when I got better I decided to have my lower face done to remove the double chin.
“But when I woke up I was told that they had unfortunately cut the artery in my neck and couldn’t do the rest of the operation. In other words I nearly bleed to death so they just concentrated on stopping me bleeding.
“I went from one agonising operation to another until in the end I had not only no teeth but no gums left they had all been cut away and couldn’t even wear my dentures. When it all went wrong I was devastated. I couldn’t eat and my dentures wouldn’t fit.
“Most of the time I was in agony with the teeth in so I would hardly go out and my dentures spent more time in my bag than my mouth.”
After thinking that she would have to quit her acting career for good, the actor finally received successful corrective surgery, leaving her able to “smile again”.
Overcoming a lifetime of worrying health troubles, Crissy said: “I’m lucky. I survived. But once it was all finished it was like having a brand new me and I thought, ‘That’s it now, it’s all over.’”
Source: Read Full Article