Leah Bracknell has been told her cancer is "stable" - which is the most positive news she has received in "almost a year".

Leah Bracknell

Leah Bracknell

The former 'Emmerdale' actress was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer two years ago, and while she hasn't had much to shout about in the last 24 months, she has "hope" after receiving her latest results from a medical trial she recently signed up to in an attempt to defeat the disease.

She said: "I have just celebrated the second anniversary of the day I almost died. But I didn't.

"I have also just passed the two-year mark from the day on which I received a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.

"And last week, the long-awaited scan results from the first phase of the trial I am on, have come back with the encouraging news that, currently, the cancer is stable.

"The celebration is muted, one of relief rather than champagne and fireworks. But it is without doubt the most positive news to come my way in almost a year.

"So what does this mean? Quite simply it means Hope. It means that I can remain on the trial for now, until the next scan is performed in six weeks' time, and the cycle of anxiety once again cranks into motion and I brace myself for the frightening possibility of the tug of the rug from beneath my feet. (sic)"

Leah - who played Zoe Tate in the ITV soap from 1989 to 2005 - was given an average survival time of eight months when she was first diagnosed with cancer, and now says she is a "cancer thriver" rather than a "survivor".

Writing on her blog, Something Beginning with C, she added: "The writing on the wall two years ago was very different given that the statistics, as out of date as they are for stage 4 lung cancer, predict a frighteningly brief median survival time of 8 months.

"When one's mere existence, the taking of another breath and the walking of another step are such substantial achievements the sense of gratitude is overwhelming and I thank not only all of those who have played a part in my healing journey, but my very lucky stars on high.

"How have I managed to surpass my expiry date? Am I a survivor? No, I am much more than that, I am a cancer thriver. Survival relates to statistics and time. Thriving is all about quality of life. (sic)"