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Cancer survivor Carol McGiffin confirms younger sister has died four months after being diagnosed with disease

Sharnaz Shahid

Carol McGiffin is mourning the loss of her younger sister Tracey, who sadly lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53. The former Loose Women panellist confirmed the news in her Best magazine column, which comes almost a month after she publicly announced that her sibling had the terminal disease.

"When my little sister, Tracy, was diagnosed four months ago, it didn't seem real," she wrote. "I knew she was going to die, but I kind of hoped that it would be later, like, years away. Now, when I find myself saying the words, 'My sister died last weekend,' it still doesn't seem real. Perhaps because it hasn't properly sunk in yet, or that I'm just not ready to believe it."

Carol - who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014, and given the all-clear in September 2015 after six rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy - went on to talk about their close bond. She added: "We were always close as kids, but as we grew up things changed, and I'm really glad that in the end - those last four months - I got to spend some good, quality time with her. We had days out at the seaside, went out shopping, had lovely pub lunches. I felt like I was getting to know her all over again."

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Carol McGiffin confirms her sister has died, just four months after being diagnosed with cancer

The star also said that supporting Tracy through her cancer battle reminded her of their mother, who lost her own fight against the disease. "During her last days, when I was with her at the hospital, we recounted some of those times, and it was good to see her laugh," she explained. "She was exactly like my mum when she laughed."

Speaking about her own experiences with the disease, Carol revealed at the time of her sister's diagnosis: "Cancer is scary, but I don't see the point of getting emotional about it. So when my sister, Tracy, found a lump in her left breast - just like mine - three months ago, I said, "Right, we'll find out what the treatment is, deal with it, and you'll be fine. But she wasn't fine. I think, deep down, Tracy knew it was bad news. She'd been having massive headaches, and her co-ordination was off, she kept bumping into things. It was all very odd."