Emmerdale’s Michelle Hardwick has said she hopes to do justice to her new storyline, which has seen her character Vanessa diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The vet’s illness was revealed in Monday night’s episode of the ITV soap.
Her worrying news was disclosed to viewers by Pierce Harris (Jonathan Wrather) who is holding her hostage.
Hardwick said: “This is such a challenging storyline, but we’ve been working closely with Bowel Cancer UK, who have been enormously helpful to me in researching Vanessa’s symptoms and treatment.
“I hope to do Vanessa’s story justice.
“I was actually really shocked to learn that bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, but diagnosed early is treatable.”
The storyline will play out over the coming months as Vanessa comes to terms with her diagnosis and symptoms, shares her concerns and undergoes extensive treatment.
Genevieve Edwards, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said she hopes the story helps to raise awareness.
She said: “We greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with the Emmerdale team on this important storyline. While everyone’s experience of diagnosis is different, it is vital that Vanessa’s story is as accurate as possible.
“Although bowel cancer is more common in the over-50s, it can affect people of all ages. More than 2,500 people under 50, like Vanessa, are diagnosed with the disease in the UK every year.
“This storyline will help to raise awareness of bowel cancer, and we hope it encourages viewers to recognise the symptoms and visit their GP if they’re concerned.”
Emmerdale continues on ITV.