Worried Soap Star, 28, Is Turned Away By Her Doctors As ‘Too Young For Cancer:’ A Second Opinion Led To a Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

Abi Phillips was inspired by fellow TV star Demi Jones from 'Love Island,' who raised awareness about thyroid cancer following her own diagnosis at age 22.

Published May 10, 2022

Marisa Sullivan

Speaking Up Over Health Concerns Led to a Proper Diagnosis

  • Soap star Abi Phillips, 28, just announced her thyroid cancer diagnosis after initially being told by her doctor that she was too young to have the disease.
  • Concerned with the lumps in her neck, Phillips finally received a proper diagnosis after seeking a second opinion.
  • With more and more people speaking up about their personal health, the stronger and more confident we become when facing these issues. Putting medical problems on the back burner can cost you your life. If you feel something is not right, most likely it isn’t.
 

Soap star Abi Phillips, 28, who played Liberty Savage on Hollyoaks, just announced her thyroid cancer diagnosis after initially being told by her doctor that she was too young to have the disease.

Thankfully, Phillips received her proper diagnosis after seeking a second opinion.

“I’d previously been sent away from the doctors after having found two lumps in my neck,” she wrote on her Instagram page, “they’d passed it off and said I was ‘young’ and it wouldn’t be anything and I was ‘probably getting over a cold’ or my body was ‘fighting something off.'”

Luckily, Phillips was adamant about having “peace of mind” over her health and booked a specialist. ” … immediately she told me she was very concerned due to where my lumps were located and referred me for an urgent biopsy and scans,” she recalled of the experience last month.

 

 

The single English singer/songwriter also remembered hearing about Love Island reality star Demi Jones’s diagnosis at 22, and the similar location of the lump in her neck. Jones’s brave advocacy helped encourage Phillips to be persistent.

‘Love Island’ Star Demi Jones, 23, Says Her Thyroid Cancer Treatment Has ‘Zapped’ Her Energy

Up until her diagnosis, Phillips had been performing back-to-back weddings and events in between TV gigs. For now, the rock ‘n’ roll beauty is putting her health first. Like Demi Jones, is sharing her story to help urge others to advocate for their own health as well.

 

 

Be Your Own Advocate

Just in case your doctor didn’t get the memo that many people seem to be getting diagnosed with various types of cancers at an earlier age these days (thyroid, colon, breast, etc.), it’s imperative that you use your voice like these young women have. The textbooks and medical journals of yesterday are often not the current programming with many more factors affecting the health of younger generations.

Be Pushy, Be Your Own Advocate … Don’t Settle

With more and more people speaking up about their personal health, the stronger and more confident we become when facing these issues. Putting medical problems on the back burner can cost you your life. If you feel something is not right, most likely it isn’t.

Related: ‘At One Point I Thought … Do I Have Cancer?’: Britney Spears Recalls ‘Abusive Practices’ of Conservatorship — How to Advocate for Your Health

If you are labeled as “paranoid,” that can sometimes be a good thing, within reason of course. It’s better to be safe than sorry! After all, the worst thing that can happen is a negative test or scan, although often times it’s imperative to get another set of professional eyes on those scans. Again, just to be safe. If Abi Phillips had backed down and listened to her first doctor, she would have continued living with thyroid cancer, completely unaware.

What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a disease that begins in the thyroid gland, which is at the base of the neck. The cancer will often present itself as a large bump (tumor) in the neck. It remains unclear what causes the disease. Some symptoms of thyroid cancer can be mistaken for a common cold.

Related: 26-Year-Old Australian Woman Thanks the Covid-19 Vaccine for Leading Her to a Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

Treatments for this type of cancer can include surgery, hormone therapy, radioactive iodine, radiation, and chemotherapy. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include the following, outlined by the American Cancer Society (ACS):

Related: 7 Common Signs of Thyroid Cancer & How to Spot Them

  • A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • A constant cough that is not due to a cold

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