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Soap star Pinter beats oral cancer

Oct. 26, 2007 at 4:21 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. soap opera actress Colleen Zenk Pinter has won her battle with oral cancer after undergoing three operations, CBS reported.

Pinter, who has played Barbara Ryan on "As the World Turns" for nearly 30 years, talked on "The Early Show" Thursday about the illness she suffered for seven months.

The 54-year-old actress, who doesn't smoke or drink, said she initially thought she had an ordinary canker sore but when it came back and then wouldn't go away, she went to her doctor, who then sent her to a specialist.

Pinter has since undergone three operations, including the removal and reconstruction of part of, and the insertion of radioactive beads in, her tongue, CBS said.

Declared cancer-free by doctors, she is back to work with a bit of a lisp.

Pinter said fans thought she had suffered a stroke or had some dental work done.

In the interview, Pinter stressed that importance of being screened for oral cancer on a regular basis.

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