Emmerdale viewers face emotional scenes ahead as Faith Dingle receives the diagnosis that her breast cancer has returned.
The Dingle matriarch, played by Sally Dexter, will be told the devastating news that she has secondary cancer, when cancer has spread from where it started to another part of the body, in episodes that will air later this week.
The ITV soap opera has said Faith will also struggle to share the news with her children Chas (Lucy Pargeter) and Cain (Jeff Hordley) due to tensions between them remaining high.
With nowhere to turn, Faith will lean on Moira Barton, played by Natalie J Robb, for support during this difficult time.
Moira will urge Faith to tell the rest of her family but she is adamant that she wants to mend her relationships first.
Reflecting on the script, Dexter said: “It’s upsetting, but really important as a storyline, because it’s more than a storyline for so many people.
“It matters to people who are going through it as well as people who will go through it.
“I feel a sense of real responsibility, but also a privilege to be doing this storyline.”
Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said: “Faith’s devastating cancer diagnosis will impact not only her life, but all those around her.
“We know at the very core of the Dingles is a strong sense of family and love, so for them to try and navigate through this heartbreaking time will be incredibly difficult.
“Faith’s zest for life with her spicy sense of humour and appetite for fun and adventure means that while there will inevitably be some painful and heart-wrenching moments, we will also see life-affirming and positive moments of light in the story too.
“Given the calibre of actor Sally is, I know she will approach the story with great honesty and depth and do it justice, and this in turn will raise awareness of such an important issue that affects many people on a daily basis.”
The Emmerdale production team said it has been working alongside the charity Breast Cancer Now on Faith’s secondary cancer storyline to give it a realistic and authentic depiction.
Clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Now, Catherine Priestley, said: “With it estimated that around 35,000 people are living with secondary breast cancer in the UK, it’s been an incredibly important opportunity for us to provide expert guidance around Faith’s storyline – giving a steer to scriptwriters as to how her diagnosis and experience of the disease can be portrayed accurately and raising awareness of some of the signs and symptoms of secondary breast cancer among millions of Emmerdale fans.
“Everyone’s experience of breast cancer is different, but we know from calls to our helpline just how anxious women may feel about the possibility of their cancer returning, and how overwhelming the impact of a secondary breast cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families.”