Royle Family star Caroline has battled cancer twice before

It’s been revealed that Caroline Aherne is suffering from lung cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support confirmed that the 50-year-old is battling the disease when they announced that she’ll speak at an appeal to improve Manchester’s cancer care next month.

Caroline has previously been treated for bladder cancer and, like her brother, she had eye cancer during her childhood, which left her partially-sighted in one eye.

In the 1990s, she was diagnosed with alcoholism.

Caroline‘s sibling Patrick says her condition was discovered ‘late last year’ and that both her lung and bladder cancers were ‘genetic and linked to the retinoblastoma she had as a baby’.

Patrick has confirmed that Caroline – who’s written and starred in shows including The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show – no longer smokes.

‘I’m really glad that I can do my bit to encourage Manchester people to speak up about where things do go wrong with cancer care,’ Caroline tells the BBC.

‘Our survival rates are 25% lower than average and the number of people getting lung cancer is a third higher here than in the rest of England.’

Anna Duff