Will Hayley and Roy deal with the news?

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Hayley is to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in moving scenes which will be screened this week.

Viewers will see Hayley called in by her doctor for tests after a routine medical shows up abnormalities.

And she is devastated when the results reveal that she has potentially fatal stage 2 pancreatic cancer.

But in typical Hayley fashion she is more concerned about how Roy will cope with the news than her own health.

Throughout the rest of the year we will follow the Cropper’s on their journey as they come to terms with the devastation this awful disease causes but there will also be many laughs along the way as Hayley deals with her diagnosis in her own inimitable style.

ITV have worked closely with Pancreatic Cancer UK (www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk) on the storyline and the charity’s support line will be broadcast after the episodes on July 22nd when Hayley is diagnosed.

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh announced earlier this year that she was leaving the soap after 15 years and feels honoured that her departure storyline gives her the opportunity to explore a subject that affects so many people.

She said: “I do feel really honoured to be given the opportunity to play this storyline because cancer in general is something that affects everybody. Hayley’s issues of being a transgender was a great opportunity to bring an unusual issue into people’s living rooms and to teach them about something that was new to many. This is a chance to go through something that has touched pretty much everybody in one way or another. There are moments where it is heartbreaking, but it’s not all weepy, for the most part it’s just Roy and Hayley dealing with it in a very ‘Roy and Hayley’ way.

“I do remember reading the scripts for the first time and being inconsolable. Every single page I was heartbroken because it’s a really strange thing. She’s not me, but she’s a massive part of me. She’s been a huge part of my life for over 15 years.”

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Pancreatic cancer does not have a very high public profile so we are very grateful to ITV for raising awareness of it through Hayley’s story. At Pancreatic Cancer UK we support people affected by the disease. We understand all too well the devastating affect pancreatic cancer can have on those diagnosed, and their families. To help, we provide support and extensive information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment to anyone who needs it.”