Editorial

Coronation Street storyline sends a powerful message about cervical screening

Coronation Street has been praised for its balanced portrayal of life with cancer
Coronation Street's Sinead Tinker

Coronation Street has been praised for its balanced portrayal of life with cancer

With love triangles, whodunnits and explosive storylines, it is easy to dismiss soap operas as a half-hour slice of escapism from our everyday lives.

But these shows can push boundaries by using drama to spread important health messages to the millions of people who tune in every week.

Scriptwriters collaborated with cancer charity

Over the past year, Coronation Street has handled the storyline of young mother Sinead Tinker's cervical cancer diagnosis with care and sensitivity.

Rebecca Shoosmith of Jos Cervical Cancer Trust , which has been working on

Coronation Street has been praised for its balanced portrayal of life with cancer

Picture shows Katie McGlynn as Coronation Street's Sinead Tinker. Her cervical cancer storyline sparked an uptake in cervical screening.
Katie McGlynn as Coronation Street's Sinead Tinker whose cervical cancer storyline sparked
an uptake in cervical screening. Picture: Shutterstock

With love triangles, whodunnits and explosive storylines, it is easy to dismiss soap operas as a half-hour slice of escapism from our everyday lives.

But these shows can push boundaries by using drama to spread important health messages to the millions of people who tune in every week.

Scriptwriters collaborated with cancer charity

Over the past year, Coronation Street has handled the storyline of young mother Sinead Tinker's cervical cancer diagnosis with care and sensitivity.

Rebecca Shoosmith of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, which has been working on the storyline with the research team and scriptwriters at Coronation Street, has also written Cancer Nursing Practice a comment piece, Coronation Street cervical cancer story could increase take-up of screening services.

She says striking the balance between a dramatic story and giving an accurate reflection of what living with cervical cancer is like, was key.

They worked hard to ensure that cancer was still evident during scenes not directly concerned with it, she says, through little details such as Sinead being off food, needing to use the toilet more and experiencing pain. All this made the story more realistic.

Storyline raises awareness of cervical screening 

The storyline has been widely praised not only by the public, but by nurses too.

Actor Katie McGlynn, who played Sinead, spoke of being contacted by nurses to tell them of increases in take-up of cervical screening as a result of the storyline.

If it helps prevent more women going through the trauma of cervical cancer, then it will have been a true success.

A focus on clinical research nurses

Also in Clinical research nurses are at the forefront of life-saving cancer work, we shine a light on this vital role.

Clinical research is essential in finding new treatments and improving patient outcomes and standards of care. At the forefront of this process are clinical research nurses, who undertake research using clinical trials.

In A day in the life of a clinical research nurse, three research nurses kept shift diaries, looking at the high points and the challenges of their role – and all three offer a fascinating window into their vital work.

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