Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell didn't blame smoking for lung cancer diagnosis
Leah told Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby during an appearance on This Morning three years ago that she was was first diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer following surgery.
During the same interview, Leah said: 'I haven't smoked for decades and decades and decades.'
Additionally, she wrote in her blog, Something Beginning with C: 'I myself have smoked in the past. And no one can make me feel more guilty about that than I did, let me tell you. Even when I was told that the type of lung cancer with which I was diagnosed was not caused by smoking, it was a bitter sweet revelation, and let's be honest, it can't have helped.'
In addition to writing about her own experiences, Leah was very open about how she felt in regards to the lack of research that was dedicated to lung cancer, and suggested that the reason for this could possibly be attributed to the stigma attached the disease.
She said: 'Lung cancer does not confine itself to smokers. The average age for someone to be diagnosed with Lung cancer is around 70. But every year more people are receiving diagnoses younger and younger, and often they have never smoked in their lives. 1 in 7 cases are not linked to smoking. Yet 1 in 4 people surveyed have less sympathy for lung cancer patients than any other cancer.'
Leah had several roles as an actress, but viewers fondly remember her for her iconic portrayal of Zoe Tate in Emmerdale - a part which she played for 16 years between 1989 and 2005, during which she featured in several of the soap's biggest storylines.
Several of Leah's Emmerdale co-stars took to social media to remember their friend with touching tributes, and John Whiston, Managing Director of Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North said: 'Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell. Leah was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years.'
'During that time she featured in some of the show's most high profile and explosive plots and always delivered a pitch perfect performance. Zoe Tate was one of soaps first lesbian characters and Leah made sure the character was both exciting and credible. Leah herself was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike.'
MORE: Zoe Tate was an Emmerdale and LGBTQ+ icon and Leah Bracknell was inspirationally superhuman
MORE: Remembering Zoe Tate's best Emmerdale moments as actress Leah Bracknell dies
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