Emmerdale’s Gemma Oaten shares heartbreak over dad’s cancer returning

He was diagnosed the same year Gemma landed her Emmerdale role

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Gemma Oaten has revealed the devastating news that her father’s cancer has returned.

The actress, best known as Emmerdale’s Rachel Breckle, shared her heartbreak at the diagnosis on Instagram but vowed that her father, Dennis, is a “fighter” and the family were remaining hopeful.

Alongside a beautiful picture of herself and Dennis she wrote: “Overwhelmed by the love and support of this man. My Dad.

“He is just one (I’m fortunate to have many) of the most amazing men In my life. He is all. My world.

“I think I’m allowed to say now that prostate cancer is back again with a vengeance and pushing to lymph nodes.

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“But. BUT. That’s OK,” continued Gemma, “because this man, my Dad, Is a fighter. Praying for all good outcomes for all good people (sic).”

Gemma, 33, added a string of hashtags including “I pray we got this” and “love you”.

She also tagged in Prostate Cancer UK.

Loved ones and fans were quick to send Gemma their well-wishes, including one who wrote: “So sorry to hear about your dad Gemma. Sending lots of love & positive thoughts to you & your family.”

Another said: “Thinking of you all Gemma. From what I’ve seen you post your dad is amazing and he’s got you and your lovely family to fight it for.”

A third added: “He has shown already what a fighter he is and with your love and that of your family, he’ll beat this! Big love to you all.”

And a fourth said: “Sorry to hear, dads are the best! keep up the fight.”

Gemma previously revealed how her world fell apart when Dennis was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 64 in 2011, just as she landed her role on Emmerdale.

In an interview with The Mirror last year, she said: “I got a phone call from my parents to tell me my dad had cancer and I felt my whole world had collapsed.

“I’d gone from getting this life-changing role in Emmerdale to finding out my dad might die.

“It was utterly horrendous. Seeing your dad struggle is heartbreaking.

“But I kept going for him and thankfully he’s still with us.”

Dennis began to feel unwell during a family holiday and, after being urged to visit his doctor by family members, he was diagnosed with stage three aggressive prostate cancer.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments followed before the disease went into remission.

Dennis joined Gemma on ITV’s Lorraine last year to back a campaign called Check Your Chaps, which urges men to be on the lookout for symptoms of prostate cancer.

Gemma and her family have been inundated with support on social media following the devastating news that Dennis’ cancer has returned.

Responding to one person, Gemma tweeted: “Bless you, heartbroken but determined. We will beat it again. No other option. Thank you.”

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She told another: “Seems harder second time round. Life just seems to be playing tricks again, but one thing I know, my Dad doesn’t back down easily… Guess that’s who I take after. We got this.”

Gemma will give a reading at Prostate UK’s Carols by Candlelight on Friday, December 1.

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