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Wendy Richard says she is dying of cancer

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Former Eastenders actress Wendy Richard is dying of cancer, she has revealed.

The 65-year-old, who played Pauline Fowler on the soap for 22 years until the end of 2006, told the Sunday Express newspaper that despite fighting off breast cancer twice she has developed a more aggressive form of the disease which has now spread to one of her kidneys and her bones.

She was diagnosed with the disease in January.

Ms Richard said that she had already written her will and planned her own funeral. She also said that she planned to marry her long term partner John Burns before beginning chemotherapy on October 13th.

Ms Richard said the disease was discovered after her usual annual check up which discovered cancerous cells in her left armpit.

She has been taking drugs to combat the disease ever since but told the newspaper they appeared to have done more harm than good.

She said: "If anything, they did more damage than good so my health has really deteriorated.

"Now I have a cancerous growth on my right kidney and the cancer has spread to my bones.

"It's more aggressive this time, unfortunately, and has spread to the top of my spine and left ribs."

Ms Richard said she had spent the last five years in pain having contracted lymphoedema after the second time she had breast cancer, but it had worsened over the last year.

"Some nights I've just wanted to scream the place down," she said.

"It didn't matter whether you lay down, stood up, sat down - the pain was just there all the time."

Ms Richard, who rose to fame playing Miss Brahms in BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? in the 1970s, battled back from breast cancer to return to Albert Square months after her diagnosis.

She was awarded the MBE for services to television in 2000.

© Adfero Ltd
05 October 2008 09:35 GMT

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