Emmerdale fans were left in tears on Thursday's episode as Faith Dingle discovered that her breast cancer had returned and it was incurable.
Leaning on daughter-in-law Moira Dingle for support due to a family feud with her children, Faith was told that she had secondary cancer that had spread to her lungs, her bones and spine.
Reeling in shock, the doctor explained that her condition is "treatable" but not "curable", adding that although it's not initially "life threatening", it will "shorten" her life.
As well as receiving the shocking news, Faith was put through further distress as she learnt that her children Chas ( Lucy Pargeter ) and Cain (Jeff Hordley) had been involved in a car crash, thankfully surviving the incident.
Moira will attempt to encourage her to share the news with her family, but headstrong Faith is adamant she will prioritise mending their relationship.
Soap watchers were left in tears over the heartbreaking news as they took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One person said: "So gutted about Faith #Emmerdale," followed with crying emojis.
A different account put: "Faith’s illness is not curable. I am distraught #Emmerdale" with heartbroken emojis.
Another follower wrote: "Faith has incurable cancer #Emmerdale," with crying emojis.
While a different viewer added: "Aww Faith’s cancer has spread everywhere..#Emmerdale," with devastated emojis.
The episodes have been produced in collaboration with the charity Breast Cancer Now, who have worked closely with the soap''s writers to ensure that Faith's secondary cancer storyline is a realistic and authentic depiction.
Sally Dexter, who has played the widely-adored role of Faith since 2017, 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."
Catherine Priestley, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Now, added: "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 script writers 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."
Emmerdale Producer, Laura Shaw, also commented: "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 heart-breaking time will be incredibly difficult.
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"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."
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