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Coronation Street: How accurate is Sinead Tinker’s cancer storyline? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV


ITV soap Coronation Street has been playing out Sinead Tinker’s (played by Katie McGlynn) cervical cancer storyline for some time now. Sinead was diagnosed back in 2018 after ignoring the symptoms of cervical cancer, which can include unusual vaginal bleeding, unpleasant vaginal discharge and pain in the lower back or pelvis. She started her treatment and then temporarily stopped after she feared for the life of her unborn child before resuming chemotherapy.

For a while, it looked like Sinead had finally managed to get better and was slowly putting her illness behind her but now she will be taking a turn for the worst.

The storyline will be coming to a tragic end which begins this evening (Monday, September 9) when she discovers a lump on her neck on her wedding day.

Sinead and her husband Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard) will go to the hospital when she gets a devastating diagnosis.

She will learn her cancer has returned and spread to her lymph nodes and liver with the young mother only having months to live.

READ MORE: Coronation Street: When is Sinead Tinker leaving Coronation Street? 

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker was diagnosed with cancer in 2018

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 (Image: ITV)

The story will wrap up later this autumn with Sinead sadly dying from her illness.

Coronation Street writers worked closely with two charities - Mummy’s Star and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust - to ensure accuracy.

The actors also spoke to members of the charity to make sure they gave an accurate portrayal of the illness and how people react in this situation.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk. Rebecca Shoosmith, Head of Support Services, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust revealed how the charity had worked with the soap.

She worked mostly with the writers, detailing the emotional journey a lot of people go through when they’re diagnosed with cancer including their fears, anxieties and how their families felt.

The charity worker hailed the writers for their depiction, saying: “Well, actually, I think they’ve handled it very well in terms of how Sinead has [dealt with it].”

She went on to explain: “Certainly one of the things that has really resonated was when she was first told that she was diagnosed, actually the difficultly in telling someone else that you’ve got that diagnosis and the feeling that your choice has been taken away.

“It happens a lot I’m sure with any cancer but with cervical cancer, particularly around the loss of fertility, that’s actually very significant Sinead would be facing those sorts of possibilities or lack of.”

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker finds a lump on her wedding day

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker finds a lump on her wedding day (Image: ITV)

She has worked with the charity for 10 years and has come across a number of women who have been diagnosed during pregnancy.

“It just adds that extra layer of devastation and worry around what treatment to have,” she said.

Reflecting on the portrayal of the story, Shoosmith said: “I did feel the writers really, really tried very hard to remain true to the pathway, the care pathway and the issues patients feel with this.

“They worked very hard to try and achieve that. All the difficult conversations, all the times Sinead either not wanting to talk - says she’s fine and actually when she’s on her own not so much - and just that constant worry.

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker finds a lump on her wedding day

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker finds a lump on her wedding day (Image: ITV)

“It’s a very almost surreal feeling to have cancer, to have that diagnosis and it can be incredibly isolating.”

Shoosmith said that the feedback coming back from the communities dealing with cancer was very positive with the story “well-handled” and reflective of the experiences of young women.

She added that the writers went “above and beyond” with Sinead’s storyline.

However, Sinead’s story is not typical of those suffering from cervical cancer.

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker will get a devastating diagnosis

Coronation Street: Sinead Tinker will get a devastating diagnosis (Image: ITV)

Out of the almost 3,000 women who are diagnosed each year, two-thirds survive the illness, so 1,000 women will lose their lives. Two-thirds are able to be treated and live beyond five years.

According to Cancer Research, the incidence rates of cervical cancer in the UK is highest among females agree 25 to 29. Again, this means Sinead’s outcome is rare when taking into consideration the figures.

Shoosmith said it the figures were “enormously positive” and that the charity spent a lot of time talking about prevention.

Jo’s Trust offers a range of services including a helpline people can call, an online forum, speaking confidentially to an expert and also events where patients can meet others like themselves.

For more information, visit www.jostrust.org.uk

Coronation Street continues on ITV tonight at 7.30pm & 8.30pm


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