When quizzed on whether she had been to her doctor after experiencing sharp pains in her breast, Rita said: “In the sense of urgency. Considering all of the patients in the world, if you can self-prevent it is the first stage.
“I don’t know if it’s in my head, but it can be a case of a little heartburn and I am like, ‘What is that?’.”
The Brit award nominee added: “Cancer affects everyone. My mum battled it twice, and I had a lot of different emotions. I felt a lot of responsibility to step up and become a strong teenager. I wanted to protect my mother.
“Even now, every time my mother has to have a check-up we get reminded of all those feelings of waiting for the result, and the fear factor of it all.
“Everyone has a way of dealing with their thoughts, and I am a big believer in therapy — certainly it has helped me a lot.”