Dean Sullivan has reflected on his battle with prostate cancer as he urged people to ‘trust their gut’ and seek medical attention.
The Brookside actor, 68, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 and was finally discharged by his consultant last year after undergoing radiotherapy treatment.
Looking back on his battle with the disease, Dean told how he put himself ‘in the hands of fate’ during his ill health and tried to continue living his life.
He told the Liverpool Echo: ‘The way I dealt with it was that I just sort of put myself in the hands of fate. If this was my time, then this was my time so I was quite philosophical about it really.
‘I know that people would worry themselves into an early grave as it were but I’m not that sort of person, I try to keep positive about things and I just got on with my life.’
Health: Dean Sullivan has reflected on his battle with prostate cancer as he urged people to ‘trust their gut’ and seek medical attention
Dean, who played criminal Jimmy Corkhill on the soap opera, told how he wasn’t displaying most of the symptoms of prostate cancer other than a reduced flow.
However, he felt like something wasn’t right and went to the doctor, who just told him to keep an eye on it, but he returned to another doctor a few weeks later.
He said: ‘If I’d have listened to the first doctor, it might have been a different story so always trust your gut, 11 times out of 10, you’re right, we’ve still got that fight or flight instinct.’
Dean told how he believes early detection was key to his successful radiotherapy treatment and urged other people to get checked if they are concerned.
He reflected on his sister being diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and said he was very ‘upset’ at the time, but she too has now been given the all-clear.
Dean said he wants to open up about his own experience to give other people who are battling cancer ‘hope’ and will speak at the Pause for Hope service next month.
The 25th instalment of the service, which was set up by the founder of Roy Castle Lung Foundation, will bring together those with cancer and their loved ones, carers and nurses.
The event, which will take place on September 24, will recognise NHS heroes or other people who have made a difference to someone with cancer.
Back in 2019, Dean opened up about his ‘shell shock’ cancer diagnosis, admitting he never thought he had an issue with his prostate as he wasn’t displaying many of the typical symptoms.
He told The Mirror at the time: ‘I remember being a bit shell shocked really, because even though we know these days that one in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer of some sort, you never think it will be you.’
Struggles: The Brookside actor, 68, known for playing Jimmy Corkhill (pictured), was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 and was finally discharged by his consultant last year
Dean admitted he didn’t immediately share the news with his loved ones or friends because he isn’t the type of person to ‘elicit’ support from their pals.
He kept the news to a few close friends and family members, explaining: ‘You’re the one living with it and dealing with it and my way of dealing with it was not to let it be a major part of my life.’
He added: ‘Also, there’s the situation when you think “I don’t want to tell this story again”, so only my closest family and friends knew. It was one of those when I thought “just get on with it and what will be will be”.’
Dean was finally given the all-clear last year after undergoing HDR (high dose rate) brachytherapy and radiotherapy treatment to overcome the disease.
Elsewhere, Dean recently admitted he thinks Brookside reruns could result in the show being rebooted for a full return.
The soap opera was controversially cancelled by Channel 4 in 2003, but Dean discussed the potential of a reboot earlier this year.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Dean spoke about the show coming to STV Player, which will be releasing five episodes a week from the beginning of the show in 1982.
Asked if the news could prompt a series revival, Dean said: ‘I think it could work even more so these days because one of the big initial storylines, the Grants were a true working-class family.
‘I think there would be a massive appetite for it. If it does come back, who knows?’
Dean said he is still stopped by fans ‘every day’ who tell him how much the show meant to them.
Reflecting: Looking back on his battle with the disease, Dean told how he put himself ‘in the hands of fate’ during his ill health and tried to continue living his life
Reboot? Elsewhere, Dean recently admitted he thinks Brookside reruns could result in the show being rebooted for a full return
He said: ‘Whenever I go out into the public, every day of my life somebody wants an autograph or a photograph or they want to speak, they want to engage. They’re always very complimentary to me, they always say we loved Jimmy.’
Brookside suffered a ratings slump in the early noughties which Dean put down to Channel 4 changing its airtime on several occasions, leading viewers not knowing when it was on – including his own mother.
Brookside originally aired on the first day that Channel 4 was broadcast on November 2 in 1982 and proved an instant hit with viewers.
Fan favourites included Bobby and Sheila and Grant, played by Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston.
The show launched the careers of many industry heavyweights including Anna Friel, Amanda Burton and Claire Sweeney.