Scarlett Moffatt's cancer scare
- Bang Showbiz
- 15 October 2017
Scarlett Moffatt feared she had cancer when she was diagnosed with Bell's palsy at the age of 11
Scarlett Moffatt feared she had cancer when she was diagnosed with Bell's palsy at the age of 11.
The 26-year-old television personality was diagnosed with the condition - which causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in one side of the face - 15 years ago, but feared it could be much worse when a doctor told her the illness can sometimes be an early sign of "acute lymphoblastic leukaemia".
Writing in her new autobiography 'Me Life Story: Sofa So Good!', she said: "We were all crammed in a very small hospital room when my dad started to cry. I had just been diagnosed with Bell's palsy, a facial paralysis.
"The doctor said to me: 'If you can take your socks and shoes off, Miss Scarlett O'Hara, I just need to explain something to your parents about why we need to do some blood tests. It's nothing to be scared of, it will only feel like a scratch. We need to do these tests as, on rare occasions, Bell's palsy can be an early manifestation of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.'"
The former winner of 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' - who is set to start working on the show's spin-off series 'Extra Camp' this year - didn't understand the seriousness of the conversation at first, but finds it "heartbreaking" to look back on.
She added: "I had no idea what any of the words meant. It's only now I understand why my parents got so upset. My dad had recovered from a rare skin cancer just four years before.
"So the thought of his little girl having tests for that awful C-word - cancer - was heartbreaking. My dad picked up my sock, held it to his eye and started to cry.
"'Come on, Dad, my socks don't smell that bad,' I smiled weakly, trying to cheer him up. Even though I was nervous and confused at what was happening, I just wanted to hear my dad laugh, not cry."
Luckily, the former 'Gogglebox' star was given the all-clear, and her Bell's palsy cleared up in three months after she was given a strong steroid treatment.
She said: "But only three hours or so later, the doctor came back in to tell us amazing news: 'Your daughter is fit and healthy - other than the unfortunate case of Bell's palsy, of course. I'm going to give her strong steroids and it should have cleared within three months.'"