Gemma Oaten

Emmerdale star Gemma Oaten bravely opens up about dad's cancer battle

The soap star appeared on Lorraine with her dad Dennis

Sharnaz Shahid

Emmerdale actress Gemma Oaten was overcome with emotion as she joined her father Dennis on Thursday's episode of Lorraine to discuss his battle with prostate cancer. The TV star, 34, revealed she learnt of the devastating diagnosis just one day before she started filming the ITV soap when she joined in 2011. "It was the best day and the worst day of my life," she explained. "But we're a strong family and everything happens for a reason and I said, 'If you were always going to get cancer I'm glad it's happened now because you're going to watch me on Emmerdale.'"

Gemma Oaten appeared on Lorraine with her dad Dennis

The prostate cancer returned for the second time in November 2017. It was Gemma's mother who had urged her dad to seek medical advice after he suffered from extreme fatigue. "It was mum who got him to go to the doctors because we all know what men can be like," explained Gemma. "They don't look after themselves as well as women." She added: "For men it's not as widely considered to go in and have a blood test. A week later, he was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer."

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Despite the cancer returning, Dennis has revealed he is remaining positive. "It's from when I was first diagnosed, I was 64, it was aggressive, I was always aware that it would possibly come back," he shared. "I take it as it comes. I've done well. It's manageable, I don't worry about it, I take each day at a time." The father-and-daughter duo have teamed up with charity Prostate Cancer UK and will soon take part in the March For Men in Leeds. "Everybody is marching with each other, everyone signing up to raise money," added Gemma. "It has come back a second time, I'm aware it can come back another time, I don't want that for future generations."

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