Cheryl Fergison doused herself in scalding water multiple times a day as she became obsessed with ‘washing’ away cancer cells after battling the illness.

The EastEnders actress, 58, who played Heather Trott in the BBC soap from 2007 until 2012, revealed her secret womb cancer battle in an interview over the weekend.

Soap star Cheryl kept her health problems private after getting the diagnosis nine years ago, but has now revealed how she was driven to taking painfully hot showers i in a desperate bid to stop the disease returning.

Former Celebrity Big Brother housemate Cheryl finished her treatment in 2015 and doctors hoped she would get the all clear by 2020.

She was told to be mindful of any unusual symptoms in case any cancer cells remained but this instruction from her doctors sparked obsessive behaviour. 

Cheryl Fergison doused herself in scalding water multiple times a day as she became obsessed with 'washing' away cancer cells after battling the illness

Cheryl Fergison doused herself in scalding water multiple times a day as she became obsessed with 'washing' away cancer cells after battling the illness

Cheryl Fergison doused herself in scalding water multiple times a day as she became obsessed with ‘washing’ away cancer cells after battling the illness

The EastEnders actress, 58, who played Heather Trott in the BBC soap from 2007 until 2012, revealed her secret womb cancer battle in an interview over the weekend (Cheryl pictured as her EastEnders character Heather Trott)

The EastEnders actress, 58, who played Heather Trott in the BBC soap from 2007 until 2012, revealed her secret womb cancer battle in an interview over the weekend (Cheryl pictured as her EastEnders character Heather Trott)

The EastEnders actress, 58, who played Heather Trott in the BBC soap from 2007 until 2012, revealed her secret womb cancer battle in an interview over the weekend (Cheryl pictured as her EastEnders character Heather Trott)

She decided to take matters into her own hands and, after hearing medics describe ‘washing’ away cancer cells before, Cheryl repeatedly covered herself in boiling water where she’d had an operation to remove cancerous cells. 

Cheryl explained to the Daily Mirror: ‘In my head, I thought I still had cancer cells in me. Doctors had talked about having done a “washing” procedure as part of the surgery so I thought right, “I’ll wash myself, I’ll wash these cells away”. 

‘So every day, sometimes twice a day, I would get a shower head and get the water at its hottest setting – as much as I could bear.

‘It was like an addiction. I was doing this for years. It became a routine. I told nobody except my husband Yass and he would try to stop me. He was so supportive – but it was in my head.’

It comes after Cheryl issued a plea to women to get unusual symptoms checked as she revealed how her womb cancer was diagnosed.

She received her diagnosis after attending a regular smear test, which came back clear but soon after she started experiencing back pain and spotting blood and says ‘somehow I just knew something didn’t feel right.’

She then went to see her GP and she was referred for tests and a biopsy at a local hospital in Kent. Four months after that she received the news she had stage two womb cancer. 

Cheryl has said that hearing the doctor’s diagnosis was like an ‘out of body experience’, explaining to The Mirror: ‘I was in absolute shock; stunned to the core. I couldn’t believe the doctor was talking about me.’

Cheryl has issued a plea to women to get unusual symptoms checked as she reveals how her womb cancer was diagnosed

Cheryl has issued a plea to women to get unusual symptoms checked as she reveals how her womb cancer was diagnosed

Cheryl has issued a plea to women to get unusual symptoms checked as she reveals how her womb cancer was diagnosed 

Following X-rays, Cheryl was also recommended for a full hysterectomy just weeks later. 

She told how this hit her hard in case she had wanted to have another child – after her chances of doing so were already reduced due to an early menopause. 

Cheryl has admitted she thought she was going to die after being diagnosed  in 2015 – calling it ‘a horrendous time’. 

She told Ok! Magazine: ‘There were some dark moments, especially at night, when I thought, ‘Am I going to die? Am I going to leave my husband without a wife, my son without a mum?’

‘But the time is right to talk about it all now. I’m hoping my story might empower other women.

‘I’ve been through a lot but I’m still here. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ 

Cheryl now lives with her husband of 12 years Yassine. She has a son Alex, 24, from her first marriage to Jamshed Saddiqi. 

The actress received her diagnosis after attending a regular smear test, which came back clear but soon after she started experiencing back pain and spotting blood

The actress received her diagnosis after attending a regular smear test, which came back clear but soon after she started experiencing back pain and spotting blood

The actress received her diagnosis after attending a regular smear test, which came back clear but soon after she started experiencing back pain and spotting blood 

The star shared the devastating news with a few pals in the industry at the time, including her EastEnders co-star Steve McFadden (pictured together in 2012)

The star shared the devastating news with a few pals in the industry at the time, including her EastEnders co-star Steve McFadden (pictured together in 2012)

The star shared the devastating news with a few pals in the industry at the time, including her EastEnders co-star Steve McFadden (pictured together in 2012)

She had only just married Yassine when the diagnosis came and felt sadness that ‘any thought of having a child together had been taken away’.

The star shared the devastating news with a few pals in the industry at the time, including Dame Barbara Windsor, June Brown, and Steve McFadden.

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIAL CANCER? 

Endometrial cancer is the most common type of womb cancer. It starts in the lining of the womb which is called the endometrium.

More than 9,700 women in the UK are diagnosed every year and more than 13,200 in the US.

Common symptoms include:

  • Bleeding after the menopause
  • Bleeding that is unusually heavy or persistent between periods
  • An abnormal vaginal discharge that might be pink

Less common symptoms include:

  • Low red blood cell level (anaemia)
  • High platelet count (thrombocytosis)
  • High blood sugar level
  • Tummy (abdominal) pain
  • A swollen tummy
  • Bloating
  • A change in bowel or bladder habits
  • A new cough

Source: Cancer Research UK

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She also confided in entertainment icons Paul O’Grady and Julian Clary.

Only last year, Cheryl was given the all clear.

Earlier this month Cheryl revealed she was rushed to hospital, after being left ‘in complete agony‘. 

She released a lengthy statement sharing that she was treated for an infection that left her in huge pain, but after six antibiotic drips, she was soon ‘home and on the road to recovery.’

In her statement, published by The Mirror, Cheryl shared that her 24-hour stint in A&E was an ‘eye-opening experience,’ adding that she has been ‘in and out of hospital’ for the past nine years due to some ‘serious health conditions.’

Thanking the staff at Blackpool & Victoria Teaching Hospital, Cheryl said: ‘I was treated for an infection with six hourly antibiotics IV drips and at times was in complete agony. 

‘I’m glad to say the infection is subsiding and I am now I am home and on the road to recovery. My family have been by my side throughout this whole ordeal.

‘Spending 24 hours in A&E was more than an eye opening experience. The pure abuse and overrun conditions that our health workers have to endure was painful to watch. 

‘The lack of appreciation that was showed by some people within my time there was very difficult to watch.’

Cheryl continued that her previous health battles had been ‘very scary’ and ‘unsettling,’ and described the NHS as ‘horribly broken’ and ‘neglected.’

She ended her statement by saying that she looked forward to ‘getting back on her feet again’, and returning to work with her son at Whispers Cafe in Lytham.

Just before she had said in a clip: ‘Hi everyone, I’ve just spent the last 24 hours in A&E at Blackpool Victoria hospital. I’ve seen things in the last 24 hours I can’t unsee. I’ve been in complete agony. 

‘I’ve been made a million times better by the angels that are all of the NHS staff which I wanna thank, like, big time. When people say they don’t get paid enough – they really don’t get paid enough.

‘We’ve got a broken system. It’s gone to pot. It’s shot. But it’s still amazing and we still have it – just, by a thread.’

She added: ‘I wanna firstly say a huge thank you. I’m a lot better and when you sit for 24 hours in a chair in an A&E department being shipped off every six hours to go and get an IV, antibiotic drips, and come back again…’

Cheryl came to fame playing loveable Heather Trott on EastEnders for five years, before being viciously killed by Ben Mitchell in 2012. 

Cheryl came to fame playing loveable Heather Trott on EastEnders for five years, before being viciously killed by Ben Mitchell in 2012 (pictured on soap)

Cheryl came to fame playing loveable Heather Trott on EastEnders for five years, before being viciously killed by Ben Mitchell in 2012 (pictured on soap)

Cheryl came to fame playing loveable Heather Trott on EastEnders for five years, before being viciously killed by Ben Mitchell in 2012 (pictured on soap)

Her character's death came at the decision of the soap bosses, not Cheryl herself, who previous admitted she burst into tears after being told (Heather's death pictured)

Her character's death came at the decision of the soap bosses, not Cheryl herself, who previous admitted she burst into tears after being told (Heather's death pictured)

Her character’s death came at the decision of the soap bosses, not Cheryl herself, who previous admitted she burst into tears after being told (Heather’s death pictured) 

Her character’s death came at the decision of the soap bosses, not Cheryl herself, who previous admitted she burst into tears after being told.

She told Best magazine: ‘It was a bittersweet day. What you get with one hand, you get taken away with another!

‘When they told me Heather was for the chop, (the boss) had to get me a tissue. Sometimes a character is sacrificed to make other stories work. I get it. I knew it was going to come but it was still a shock.’

A source told The Sun at the time about her exit: ‘Heather’s character has been hugely popular over the years, but the decision has been taken to cut her out of the show before viewers tire of her.’ 

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