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‘EastEnders’ fans heartbroken at Stuart Highway’s devastating cancer diagnosis

Stuart Highway visits the doctor in EastEnders
Stuart Highway received the devastating news that he has male breast cancer. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders viewers were in tears at last night’s episode (Monday Dec. 6) after Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) received the devastating news that he has male breast cancer.

Last week, Stuart visited the doctor after a mysterious rash appeared on his chest. The doctor noticed a lump and referred him for a biopsy where he was officially diagnosed with male breast cancer, leaving him speechless.

Over the next few months, this important storyline will see Stuart face challenges as he struggles with his diagnosis and opening up to his wife, Rainie (Tanya Franks). 

Male breast cancer is rare with just 370 new cases in the UK each year, compared to around 55,000 new cases in women. Also, about 1% of breast cancer cases in the UK are in males.

Stuart is diagnosed with cancer in EastEnders

Stuart has been keeping his health worries from wife, Rainie.  (Image credit: BBC)

Earlier in the episode, as Stuart was anxiously waiting for the results, he was determined to hide his worries from the residents. He was overjoyed to hear the news that Rocky Cant (Brian Conley) had returned home from hospital after his heart attack and that Keegan Baker (Zack Morris) would be discharged from hospital after being brutally attacked.

“Everyone’s ok, ain’t they, eh?” Stuart shouted, shortly before he ran through the market with Rocky’s heavy bag and saying that he’s as “fit as a butcher’s dog.”

But, soon his worst fear had come true and he was given the shocking news that he had male breast cancer.

Stuart is diagnosed with cancer in EastEnders

EastEnders fans were heartbroken for Stuart as he received his heartbreaking diagnosis.  (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders has been working closely with Macmillan Cancer Support on this storyline to ensure that Stuart’s cancer ordeal is as realistic as possible.

Ricky Champ spoke about his powerful storyline, saying, “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.”

Emotional fans took to Twitter to express their grief for Stuart after he was diagnosed…

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EastEnders airs tonight at 7:30pm on BBC1— see our TV Guide for full listings. 

Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film, and TV grow stronger.


Some of her favourite TV shows are Line of Duty, Fresh Meat, The Great British Bake Off, and Gogglebox. In her spare time, Grace likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series!