Model Candidly Talks To Magazine About Her Battle With Cervical Cancer

Nikki Phillips

New Zealand model Nikki Phillips has a secret, which she bravely spoke about to Australian lifestyle Magazine Cleo. She had cervical cancer. It’s the very thing all young sexually active women dread especially when it comes time to getting that routine pap smear.

The 29 year old Sydney-based TV host and model tells the magazine how she went in for her routine check up in 2009 and the doctor gave her the news that her results were irregular. She immediately made an appointment to speak with a gynaecologist and her GP who informed her of the bad news that she was stage three cervical cancer.

“I sat down, she introduced herself and said, ‘you know I am just going to get straight to the point, you’ve got cervical cancer.’ I was on my own and everything just froze around me. I couldn’t tell you what she said after that. I was there on my own because I had no idea really what was going on, I mean, you don’t. You kind of think you’re invincible so, for someone to tell me that or tell me that my test is irregular, you don’t think you’re going to have cancer.” she writes in Cleo.

Scared out of her mind she called her mum in New Zealand who flew to be by her side the next day for an emergency procedure. “The cells were developing at such a fast rate that they had to treat it immediately. I was lucky they did it so soon.”

After the operation she took time out of work, including judging duties on New Zealand’s Next Top Model, and played the waiting game to see if the surgery was successful in getting rid of all the cancerous cells. While this whole ordeal was scary for her, she talks about the other side of her story which really devastated her.

Nikki Phillips

“I never cried because of the cancer, I cried because people viewed me differently. I’d moved to Sydney, my job was amazing and I was at the top of my game. Everything was falling into place and I had a really amazing group of friends and, all of a sudden, no one wanted to hang out with me because I wasn’t well enough to go out anymore. It was a big shock for me. It made me look at myself and go, ‘well hang on, what is wrong with me?’ I thought these girls were my best friends.”

It upset her, but Nikki’s number one priority was looking after her body. With a strict diet and regular pap smears, two years later she was able to finally hear the good news from her doctor that she was cancer free, November 2012!

“I had to return for more tests and then came the answer I had been waiting for – they had managed to remove the cancerous cells.”

She ends her essay with an impassioned plea to all young women, to not forego something as important as a regular pap smear, saying that small bit of awkwardness is nothing compared to the devastating news hearing that you could possibly have cervical cancer.

“Early detection means you can be treated and you can survive. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women. Most of the time, early cervical cancer has no symptoms but can be caught early with regular check-ups.”

If you want to know more about cervical cancer, the symptoms or what to ask your doctor, click HERE, or call your local GP immediately. Don’t wait. This is your life and you have the means to live healthy and happy. Well done Nikki for being brave enough to speak out and empower many young women to take charge of their bodies. We wish you all the best in your career and glad you know who your true friends are, the ones who will support and stand by you in a crisis.



  1. I think Nikki is brave, but I’m assuming she had CIN3 which is not cancer but pre-cancerous cells on the cervix. Many women have to go through LOOP to remove these cells before they become cancerous. HPV is a common STI and the main cause of pre-cancerous cells. I think around 80 per cent of people will have at least one type of HPV in their lifetime. Two strains cause cervical cancer, which can be prevented by the Gardasil injection prior to having sexual contact. Women need to have a pap smear every two years after becoming sexually active regardless though.

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