The BBC has confirmed that Tanya Jessop (Jo Joyner) will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in just a few weeks time.
The newly married beauty salon boss is currently struggling to cope with her attraction to her ex-husband Max Branning and is falling into a torrid affair with the red headed car salesman.
However she will have even harder time ahead, when this summer she is diagnosed with the disease, after a routine smear test and the bombshell will force Tanya to choose between her ex and her current husband Greg.
Eastenders bosses have confirmed that as they develop the storyline, they are working closely with various experts and charitable organisations such as Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Bryan Kirkwood explained: “During the summer, EastEnders viewers will see Tanya receive the devastating news that she has cervical cancer. EastEnders has worked closely with experts in the field to ensure we accurately portray this sensitive issue.
“Viewers will see how Tanya, a mother of three, will use her inner determination to deal with what will be one of the toughest challenges of her life.”
Robert Music – Director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust – commented that he is glad the BBC soap will be drawing attention to cervical cancer in this way and he is happy to see it’s profile being raised and women being made more aware of symptoms.
He said: ”
As the UK’s only charity solely dedicated to informing and supporting women affected by cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer, we think it is fantastic that EastEnders has decided to highlight the issue of cervical cancer. This is a disease that affects thousands of women and their loved ones in the UK every year, and for many can be preventable by taking proactive steps, such as attending cervical screening when invited.
“EastEnders have gone to great lengths to research this story with us and we hope that by showing this storyline to its millions of viewers, it will not only raise awareness of cervical cancer but also help the public to be more informed about this issue.”
Ellen Lang, senior Macmillan cancer information nurse, added: “Cervical cancer is sadly diagnosed in thousands of women every year in the UK, so we congratulate EastEnders for tackling this difficult subject that affects so many people.
“822 people, like Tanya, are diagnosed with cancer every day. Most will feel overwhelmed when they are told that they have cancer, especially breaking the news to children and loved ones. It’s vitally important that the cancer patient, and their family, get the support they need. We hope that anyone watching who is affected by this issue knows that they can get the support they need from Macmillan Cancer Support.”
Tanya, Max and Greg of course won’t be the only people affected by the health scare, she is also a mum to Lauren, Abbey and Oscar, who will no doubt be left reeling over this devastating news.
The Daily Star Sunday reports that Greg (Stefan Booth) will leave the square when Max and Tanya’s affair is revealed, so we can only assume that she chooses the father of her children in the end.