Jackie Collins insisted cancer doesn't have to be a ''death sentence'' in her final letter to readers.

The last message the author - who sadly lost her battle with breast cancer last month - wrote for her fans has been posted on her website by her team and urges women to have regular check-ups.

She wrote: ''As you may have recently heard, I revealed that I have been LIVING life to the fullest with Stage 4 Breast Cancer for the past six and a half years.

''With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my message is this: Early detection can save lives! Get regular mammograms, and/or tell your loved ones too.

''Even if you've been screened, and you have a gut feeling that something in your body is off, get a second opinion!

''Cancer does not have to be a death sentence! You, or someone you love, can live an extraordinary life regardless. Be kind and be grateful. Never underestimate the power of your mind.''

Jackie - who passed away aged 77 - encouraged her readers to do what makes them happy regardless of any troubles they might be facing.

She said: ''Embrace what you love, and LIVE life to the fullest, as tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Whatever your pain or struggle in life, don't allow it to turn you into a victim... let your battle turn you into someone else's hero!''

Signing off the letter, she added: ''Stay healthy, stay lucky and take chances!''

The late romance novelist is also donating 20 per cent of her self-published book sales to the Susan G Komen Foundation - a charity dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer - this month.