Fans have been gripped to EastEnders as the BBC soap continues to explore Lola Pearce's (played by Danielle Harold) brain tumour diagnosis.
The storyline is being played out on screen now and Macmillan Cancer Support has told RadioTimes.com the importance of showing this devastating storyline.
Macmillan Cancer Support's Strategic Advisor for Treatment, Dany Bell, said: "Storylines like Lola’s play a crucial role in raising awareness of the impact cancer can have on someone's life, as well as some of the early signs and symptoms that may lead to a diagnosis.
"After being approached by EastEnders, Macmillan (alongside Brain Tumour Research) has helped to bring stories like Lola’s to life in a realistic, accurate way for EastEnders' millions of viewers across the UK, which has the potential to save lives and help others to better understand the incredibly difficult time that people living with cancer may be going through.
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"Lola’s diagnosis is one of several incredibly moving cancer storylines EastEnders has tackled over the years, including stories of prostate cancer, and breast cancer in both men and women. EastEnders has always been extremely diligent and committed to portraying an accurate depiction of a diagnosis, and importantly, what the experience of cancer can be like for many, beyond the point of diagnosis.
“We know at Macmillan that soaps telling cancer storylines can help to change people's perceptions of the disease. Many people may still view cancer as something that mainly affects older people, however while it is more uncommon for a young adult like Lola, cancer still impacts thousands of people in their teens and twenties in the UK every year.
"In this storyline, Lola receives a diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme, a lesser-known, rare brain tumour. We’re supporting EastEnders with their research so they can accurately capture the various experiences and emotions that someone living with a brain tumour may face; from the symptoms that can present in people with a Glioblastoma diagnosis, to how the cancer might progress, and treatment options.
"It is also shown on-screen how Lola's treatment might impact her physically as well as emotionally, and how to sensitively portray the reactions of her loved ones, such as her young daughter, Lexi.
"Lola’s heart-wrenching storyline will bring to light how suddenly a diagnosis can impact every aspect of a person’s life and how challenging it can truly be. We know that what Lola and her fictional family are going through on EastEnders is a daily reality for many people around the UK right now. Macmillan is here to do whatever it takes to support everyone affected by cancer.
"Our nurses and trained advisors are at the end of the phone on our free Support Line seven days a week if you need advice, support, or simply a listening ear, and our online community is available 24 hours a day, every day. I’d also urge anyone who may be concerned about any potential signs or symptoms of cancer to speak to their GP as soon as possible.”
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