Writer and comedian Caroline Aherne is recovering from treatment for lung cancer. The Royle Family star, who has previously had bladder and eye cancer, is to speak at an appeal to improve cancer care in Manchester on June 26.

Caroline AherneCaroline Aherne [L] with the cast of 'The Royle Family'

Aherne, 50, said of the appeal: "I've had cancer and my brother's had cancer and we know how it affects people."

"We're lucky in Manchester to have some of the best bits of cancer care with places like the Christie, the Nightingale Centre and the Cecelia Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and St Ann's Hospice - and the last thing I want to do is knock the fantastic work that goes on in this city.

"It's brilliant that all these big institutions want to make cancer care better for Manchester people, but even the best doctors, nurses and managers on earth aren't going to be able to understand what needs improving unless people affected by cancer in Manchester get involved and tell them what needs to change."

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Aherne is best known for The Mrs Merton Show, The Royle Family and The Family Show.

Nicola Cook, from Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "Caroline's one of Manchester's own - she's loved here and people identify with her. We hope that if people see that Caroline is sitting down and talking to us then maybe they'll know that they can too."

Aherne and her brother Patrick, 52, were both born with a rare cancer of the retina and she was left almost blind in one eye as a result. She underwent treatment at Bart's Hospital in London every four months as a child before being given the all-clear in her 20s.

Her former boyfriend Matt Bower, 27, lost a battle with cancer shortly after he and Aherne split in 1997. 

Aherne - who has shunned the limelight in recent years to spend time with her mother and father at her home in Timperley - suffered from depression and drink problems in 1990s and she attempted suicide following the breakdown of her marriage to musician Peter Hook in 1998. 

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The Royle Family is currently showing on UKTV's Gold.