The Carry On star, 72, has revealed she "almost collapsed" when she was given the diagnosis four years ago and was told she would need drastic surgery as part of the treatment.

However, six weeks later her doctors informed her she had been misdiagnosed and did not have cancer.

She tells Britain's Yours Magazine, "After six weeks I was told by doctors that they now thought they were wrong. I didn't have cancer and didn't need a double mastectomy. If I hadn't been working and begged for extra time (before the operation)... Well, you have to believe in God or the angels or whatever... I'm not blaming anyone, but certainly I'll always be aware of what might have been if I hadn't asked for more tests. That particular episode has to be the greatest challenge of my life."