A DIDCOT woman who was diagnosed with rare and aggressive vaginal cancer is now 'living on three-month cycles'.

Amanda Hayes was just 28 when she was told she had a 10cm tumour, which then spread to her lungs.

Now the beauty therapist has starred in a short film as part of Channel 4's annual Stand Up To Cancer campaign this week to raise awareness of the little-known form of the disease.

Ms Hayes, now 30, first knew something was wrong in November 2016 when she started getting constant pains in her stomach.

She was given various tests, including pregnancy tests. At first her GP thought she might have IBS, then was told she could have an infection.

She recalled: “On New Year’s Eve I was in so much pain that I could barely move and suffered severe blood clots.

"As soon as the GP surgery opened I saw my doctor who referred me to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

"After being transferred to the Churchill I was given a biopsy and on January 10, 2017, I was told I had vaginal cancer."

Doctors had found the tumour on the wall of her vagina and she began a punishing course of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy – inserting radioactive material directly into the affected area.

Just days after being told the treatment had worked at a three-month post-treatment scan, she was told the cancer had spread to both her lungs and she began another course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She said: “It was heartbreaking to hear that cancer had spread, especially after all my treatment."

In May this year, just a month before her 30th birthday, she was given the news that she had No Evidence of Disease – NED.

Despite that, she says, she 'knows the cancer will return'.

She explained: “Although I'm currently NED that doesn't mean I'm in remission or will ever get that 'all clear'.

“I am living my life in three-month cycles as that is when I am scanned to check for any changes, but I feel grateful that I am here and for the excellent treatment that I am getting."

Going through cancer treatment, Ms Hayes said she realised there was an unmet need for cancer patients to feel good about themselves so, as a beauty therapist, she is now planning to set up a beauty bus, so she can travel to cancer patients around the region and offer them a home beauty treatment.

Stand Up To Cancer, a joint campaign by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, fundraises for new treatments and tests. This year's TV spectacular is tonight.

Visit standuptocancer.org.uk