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Julie Walters is known for roles in "Mamma Mia" and the "Harry Potter" franchise. She recently opened up about being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Dame Julie Walters Opens Up About Bowel Cancer Diagnosis

Gettyimages | Karwai Tang
By Nicole Caropolo

Cancer comes in many forms and affects millions of people every year. When a celebrity is diagnosed, they can use their experiences to educate others who may go through the same thing.

Dame Julie Walters is a 69-year-old award-winning actress from the United Kingdom. You may recognize her as Molly Weasley from the "Harry Potter" movies or maybe Rosie from "Mamma Mia!"

Walters recently spoke to BBC about her bowel cancer diagnosis in 2018. She also talked about the importance of everyone being vigilant and getting checked by a doctor.

She Was Diagnosed in 2018

Dame Julie Walters has a star on the "Walk of Stars" in Birmingham.
Wikimedia |

In 2018, Walters was told by her doctor that she stage 3 bowel cancer.

In an interview with Victoria Derbyshire from BBC News, she said that her initial response was disbelief and a bit of doubt.

Walters said, ""I was still thinking, 'That's ridiculous, he must have made a mistake,'" she said. "I couldn't believe it."

She didn't disclose her diagnosis to the public, only telling her family and friends. When she told her husband, Grant Roffey, she remembered that "tears came into his eyes" and that she worried more about him than the news.

"I'll never forget his face," Walters said.

She Had To Go Into Surgery to Get Part of Her Colon Removed

Dame Julie Walters underwent surgery after being diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer.
Gettyimages | Anna Bizon / EyeEm

She decided to get checked out a year earlier after feeling some discomfort and indigestion. She also experienced other symptoms later on such as heartburn, stomach pain and vomiting.

She was advised to see a gastric surgeon who gave her a CT scan.

While she was on the set of "The Secret Garden," she received a call saying that there was an abnormality in her intestine that could be cancerous.

She, later on, went into surgery. Walters told BBC that she had "30cm taken out of my colon."

The Diagnosis Changed Her View On Her Work and Her Life


After the surgery, Walters went through chemotherapy sessions and has recovered from cancer.

She said that the unexpected news made her reflect on who she was as a person as well as the amount of work that she was doing for her career.

"The person before the operation is different to this person," Walters told Derbyshire.

The interviewer was a cancer fighter as well. She made video diaries over the six weeks of treatment she went through for breast cancer.

She Encourages Everyone To Visit a Doctor

After her bowel cancer diagnosis, Dame Julie Walters wants everyone to go to check ups with their doctor.
Gettyimages | Jeff Spicer

Walters talked to BBC News about how important it was for people to keep an eye on their health and be vigilant by going to the doctor.

Walters said, "Your bowel is part of your digestive system. It's just what digests your food and I think you just have to remember that," she said. "And it's just, you've got to go and get things checked. Doctors are used to bottoms: They've got one themselves, hopefully."

To learn more about bowel cancer, visit

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