Created 8th September 2004

Emmerdale Rasies Awareness of Colon Cancer

Elizabeth Estenson who plays Diane Blackstock in Emmerdale

Elizabeth Estensen, the actress who plays Diane in Emmerdale says:

"Through my character's bowel cancer storyline, my eyes have been opened to some alarming facts about the disease: that it claims a life every 30 minutes; that one in five people are diagnosed too late because they don't act upon their symptoms; and that it is so treatable when diagnosed early. I hope that the storyline will contribute to raising awareness of a disease that we don't like to talk about - yet must."



All eyes at Colon Cancer Concern (CCC), the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity, will be on ITV1’s soap opera Emmerdale over the coming months after one of its leading characters has told the programme’s 10 million viewers that she has the disease.

Colon Cancer Concern


  • Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK
  • Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer affecting both men and women in the UK
  • Every year over 35,000 people in this country are diagnosed with the disease - that's someone every 15 minutes
  • Every year nearly 16,000 people die from bowel cancer – claiming a life every 30 minutes
  • If caught in the earlier stages bowel cancer is very treatable
  • Between 5 and 10% of all bowel cancers in the UK are hereditary
  • Although 90% of all people diagnosed are over 55 (average age 70) a significant minority are younger
  • If you have any concerns don't hesitate to call the CCC Infoline on 08708 50 60 50

The news that Diane Blackstock, the Woolpack landlady in the programme, has been diagnosed with bowel cancer is a significant milestone for the disease and brings a traditionally taboo subject to its biggest ever audience in the UK.


CCC has been working closely with Emmerdale’s researchers, scriptwriters and producers in preparation for the high profile storyline, they have been very keen to ensure that the issue is handled sensitively and accurately on prime time television.

The storyline comes as welcome news for CCC, as it helps the charity raise awareness and increase the profile of a disease, which has been ignored and misunderstood for too long, despite being the second biggest cause of cancer death in the UK.

The nurse-led Infoline service phone number, will appear in the credits at the end of key episodes featuring the bowel cancer storyline.

THE CCC INFOLINE: 08708 50 60 50

Jola Gore-Booth, CCC’s Chief Executive, comments: “We’re delighted that Emmerdale has recognised the importance of bowel cancer and is helping us to tackle the disease through this important storyline.

“We’ve been very encouraged by how much Emmerdale has involved us in ensuring that the storyline is realistic. In this way, the programme will show viewers that ordinary people get bowel cancer; it will help reduce the embarrassment surrounding the disease and bring it to the forefront of people’s minds – and rightly so.

Based on a Press Release by "CCC" Dated: 23 August 2004

NOTE: Special Thanks to Claire Jagot at CCC Press Office

For further information on bowel cancer please visit the CCC
website or call the CCC Infoline on 08708 50 60 50