Nearly a decade after discovering she had breast cancer, Christine Lockton was hit with her second bout of the disease.

This time it was a large tumour in her bowel that caused concern for the 63-year-old Croydon woman.

Diagnosed with colorectal cancer in September 2017, she underwent a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

But just last month, her fortunes changed.

She underwent a robotic hysterectomy and had part of her colon removed simultaneously, in a first for The Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Ms Lockton was able to return home just days after the procedure, which offered a less invasive option to open surgery.

"I can't believe how quickly I have been able to come out of hospital and it's lovely to be home," she said.

"I think the real healing will happen now.

"The rub with cancer on both occasions has changed how I feel about life.

"I think that you have to make every day important to you really, because you are a long time dead and I'm not intending to be dead."

Surgeons sat on opposite sides of a robotic console as they performed the procedures.

The technology enabled them to see the affected area in close detail using 3D magnified images.

The multidisciplinary approach - carrying out colorectal surgery and gynaecological surgery at the same time - while using robotics is a first for The Royal Marsden.

The "arms" of the robots allowed the team to make tiny movements and remove "all natural human tremor", while its "hand" can rotate 360 degrees.

Surgeon Shahnawaz Rasheed, who led the operation with Marielle Nobbenhuis, said: "The precision of surgery, we think, is much higher."

"Because of that, the impact on the patient should be less.

"So we can do the same operation in terms of the removal of the cancer, but have less of a trauma to the patient."