Coronation Street and it's portrayal of Breast Cancer

I’m a Corrie fan, but find their depiction of Breast Cancer quite annoying.When Sally had Breast Cancer, she was initially upset, and worried, but then went off, came back looking fabulous, with a glowing tan and a lovely new head of hair (which was acually a £3,000 wig because sadly, the actress had got BC in real life), and everything was done and dusted. In fact when the character, Sally Webster, went for a follow up consultation, the doctor even told her that her cancer had been dealt with and was unlikely to return. What utter tosh, most don’t even tell people that five years after treatment - not five minutes.
Actually, I wrote to the producers and said that this is just not how it is (particularly for those of us with secondary BC), but they said they take advice from BC Charities. Wonder which one that was? Mac Micky Mouse possibly. At the last episode Maria was going with Marcus for the results of her biopsy, so I’m keen to know how they handle things. Suspect they are just using BC as a vehicle to bring Maria and Marcus closer - which is an awful trivialisation of a serious issue.

I love Corrie, but I totally agree, I do think it was a bit unfortunate with the Sally storyline that it couldn’t be played out as they had planned. I did read that it was going to be a lot more high profile but because the actress went on leave to have her own treatment it couldn’t be done. Hen why she was always upstairs “resting”. But I agree, she seemed to come back looking like nothing had happened. Her treatment coincided with mine and more than one person said how come I didn’t look as good as she did after treatment, like I had only had the flu. And of course the other sort of comments like, well Sally had it and she is alright, so you will be too…
I must be honest when I saw the start of the Maria storline I sighed and thought, oh no, not again. Maybe that is a bit harsh but we shall have to see how it pans out…

I too have found this both difficult and distressing. My daughter is almost 14 and more of a soaps fan than I am. She can’t watch it now as all a bit too close for home. She has asked some questions about some of the medical terms,e.g. Biopsy, etc. The episode the other day brought back the awful memory of the day of diagnosis on Friday 13th July (yes, really!) looking at the ultrasound and seeing the confirmation of my suspicions on screen with the words “I’m sorry, but it’s 99 % certain you have breast cancer.” I suppose that the soaps have to include “real life situations” in their storyline to make things more realistic (and there is a link to the Macmillan website) which is something I suppose,but for those of us, our family and friends, who have to deal with this on a daily and longterm basis, it can be upsetting and almost offensive to see it trivialise for the masses. I still remember the Tania Cervical cancer storyline in Eastenders and the episodes when she had the coldcap and still kept her lovely long bonde hair! Well I wish everyone luck on the coldcap treatments and well done to all the brave ladies that have kept their hair,you are superstars. My experience has been rather different but probably more realistic! I had long hair(past shoulders) for much of my adult life. On being told I would need 6 cycles Fec-T chemo I had it cut very short the next day in preparation for chemo and coldcap. Well first cycle and cold cap went okay. By the second one hair falling out but perserveered with cold cap. Although it was agony. Hair has continued to fall out but in clumps (very distressing) and at third FEC today told no point with continuing. And rather relieved actually as I would feel like a bit of a fraud having chemo and still having hair! I would hope that the storyline would raise awareness in woman especially young women, about being breast aware. I am 43, and have always been breast aware, especially as history of breast and ovarian cancer in family (sister dx at 27). I found a “thickening” a year ago and it took repeated attempts and many months of harassing my doctors surgery to get referred for a mammogram (being told on various occasions, it was cyclical changes, women my age don’t get breast cancer, I am neurotic and lightning doesn’t strike families twice, yadayada,etc) ". I am stage 2b.grade 2 with lymph node involvement, er+, and now several tumours,so neoadjuvant chemo to try and shrink before surgery, genetic screening, radiotherapy even if I have mastectomy and possible bk-lateral mx and oopherectomy with the possibility of more chemo to mop “anything else up” to increase my overall chances. Perhaps certain GPs would benefit from watching Corrie - this can affect any adult, man or woman, at any age andearly detection and diagnosis is vital and probably more cost effective!

And just watched Corrie. “Nothing to worry about just a small benign cyst” Wouldn’t we all like to get that diagnosis!

Yep I watched it as well. I guess on this occasion Corrie cant be accused of distorting the facts of BC, because we all know that biopsies do often reveal that a suspected BC is in fact a Cyst. However, I do think Corrie are wrong to use BC and the emotions it arouses, as a vehicle to bring Maria and gay Marcus together for a heterosexual/confused smooch. I think that really it’s a bit exploitative, and being exploitative, it shows a willingness to trivialise BC.
Just my view, but guess I’ll still watch, as I’m hooked.

I was going through the situation of tests and biopsies when Maria was and found it difficult to watch aa there was a feeling of it being unreal as opposed to what I was feeling and sadly I did not get the same result.

Hi Lemongrove,
I suspect that Corrie (which I also love!), was doing the ‘decent’ thing upon either a request by one of the charities or just cos they knew that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. They probably had a script meeting and said…‘Yep, we can do this, but cos we did the whole thing with Sally a couple of years ago, we’ll just do an awareness bit’.
To us old hands (and I don’t necessarily mean in age!), it may seem their handling was a bit trite, but nevertheless they did it and it may well have prompted other young women to self examine who wouldn’t have done…
Just a thought…

I was a huge Corrie fan and I stopped watching it with Sally’s BC story. For me, the timing of it going out on Christmas Day wasn’t right and I can remember staying in bed for most of Boxing Day as I felt so depressed (to the point I put off going for dinner to some friends).However, I think they handled it a bit better than EastEnders, Peggy Mitchell was just all lovely and cured as I recall!

I voted with my remote and have not watched Corrie since.

Wandy I hope it does encourage women to do breast exams, but wasn’t Maria’s breast cancer scare really just a vehicle to bring her and Marus closer together, and facillitate a kiss? They have such brilliant actors, and it’s such a shame that they don’t do a realistic storyline, that tackles how it is for those who do not recover, or have a scare. However, missed it tonight and am feeling withdrawal symptoms.

At the end of the day it is just TV land, nothing in soaps is real and although they try to portray facts as we’ve seen with Sally and other cancer characters. It would be nice to see the characters going through treatments and all that it entails, but maybe it might be too much for some people as we can all relate to how horrid some of the treatments are, and the side effects.

They do their best I think, but it is soapland - I’m addicted to soaps and wish I wasn’t