EastEnders fans in tears as Stuart Highway is diagnosed with male breast cancer

EastEnders fans were left in tears as Stuart Highway was diagnosed with breast cancer on Monday 6 December's episode.

The BBC One soap has been working closely with Macmillan Cancer Support ahead of the emotional storyline.

Last week fans of the soap saw Stuart, played by Ricky Champ, visit a doctor over a rash on his chest.

During the appointment, the doctor noticed a lump and sent him from a biopsy.

And on Monday 6 December's episode, Stuart received the news that tests show the lump in his chest was in fact cancerous, leaving him speechless.

As viewers watched the emotional episode, they took to Twitter to share their heartache. One wrote: "Oh no Stuart’s been diagnosed with male beast cancer #EastEnders" followed by a crying face emoji.

Another added: "NOOO Stuart? Male Breast Cancer seriously? #EastEnders" next to a broken heart emoji. A third said: "Stuart breaks my heart. He really really didn’t want to believe it."

Within the next few months, Stuart will face challenges as he battles his diagnosis and opens up to his wife Rainie.

Ricky, who plays Stuart, has revealed how "honoured" he feels to take part in the storyline.

He said: "I feel honoured to be trusted with such an important storyline.

"We will see Stuart really struggle with the fact he has cancer, and to learn that it’s breast cancer is really difficult for him to understand.

"I hope by shedding a light on male breast cancer, more men will be aware of it and seek out a doctor if they notice anything wrong."

Meanwhile, Strategic Advisor for Treatment, Medicines, Genomics at Macmillan Cancer Support Dany Bell said: "It’s brilliant to see EastEnders release this very important and poignant storyline.

"We hope it encourages people to become more aware of the signs of breast cancer, regularly check their own chests and reach out for help if needed.

"Macmillan is here to offer advice and support to anyone impacted by the storyline and we encourage anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of cancer to visit their GP."

The Highway family have faced an incredibly difficult time of late, after Max Branning ran away with his granddaughter Abi, who Rainie has joint custody of.

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After having a miscarriage, Rainie searched for a surrogate to carry her and Stuart's child. And Bernadette Taylor agreed and got pregnant with the couple's child.

But, she has decided to run away and hoped to keep the baby after thinking Rainie relapsed drugs.

Finally, Stuart recently discovered his nan Violet got pregnant in her 50s and had the child, which had Downs Syndrome, adopted.

After lashing out at his nan upon discovering the revelation, Violet left Albert Square but Stuart has been hoping for her to come back.

For those affected by the storyline and looking for someone to talk to you can contact the Macmillan Support Line seven days a week from 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00

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