Dame Joan Collins: Jackie's decision to keep cancer battle private a 'good idea'

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Dame Joan Collins has said her sister's decision to keep her cancer battle private was a "good idea" as she dedicated an award to the late author.

The former Dynasty star said she understood "perfectly" why Jackie Collins did not talk more openly about her illness after only discovering her sister had breast cancer a fortnight before her death in September 2015.

Dame Joan, who was honoured by the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies (ABCs) in Los Angeles, said it was "much better" that Jackie only shared news about her deteriorating health with close family.

Dame Joan Collins
Dame Joan Collins (Ian West/PA)

She told the Press Association: "I think it's a very good idea to do that. I think it isn't something you want people to be knowing about and feeling sorry for you.

"It was much better that she kept it to herself and very close family."

The 83-year-old actress said she was "honoured" to accept the charity's spirit of entertainment award, while Oscar-winning star Anjelica Huston was presented with the spirit of Hollywood award.

Jackie Collins
Jackie Collins, who died in September last year (Tony Harris/PA)

Dame Joan said: "As you know, (Jackie) passed away 14 months ago now so I feel this is somewhat of a tribute to her.

"I also feel very strongly that cancer is something that hits people. One in three people are going to get cancer so it's very important to try and find a cure."

Anjelica, 65, said she was a close friend of Jackie's and she fully supported her decision not to tell people about her cancer diagnosis.

The American actress, who fought skin cancer herself, told the Press Association: "You don't want people intruding when you're going through that. It's a private thing. I think (Jackie) was absolutely entitled to her privacy.

"I had a little bout of skin cancer in a very minor way. Everybody's affected.

"Even something as minimal as that, I was affected because I'm an actress and my face is maybe not my fortune, but it's featured."

The ABCs' Talk of the Town gala is held to raise funds for breast and prostate cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California.