My mum worked out she had killer cancer while watching Corrie after burping too much

My mum worked out she had killer cancer while watching Corrie after burping too much


A WOMAN lost her mum to a cancer that she self-diagnosed by watching Coronation Street.

Bea Walton, of Crewe, Cheshire, had been burping more than usual and noticed that the character Hayley Cropper had mentioned the same symptom.

The TV soap star’s storyline saw her diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and ending her own life in final scenes aired in January 2014.

Bea, a then 60-year-old grandmother, first thought something was wrong in early 2015, her daughter, Nicola Smith, said. 

Nicola, 46, told Cheshire Live: "She [Bea] started burping a lot, which obviously is unusual I suppose for a lot of people.

"My mum actually watched an episode of Coronation Street, and I think it was Hayley on Coronation Street had had the same symptoms, so she sort of mentioned to the doctor…”

While Bea had scans she developed jaundice, when the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow due to a problem with the liver. 

This, with the burping, turned out to be because Bea had pancreatic cancer.

The symptoms of the disease include jaundice, feeling or being sick, changes in stools, pain in the stomach and back, and symptoms of indigestion – like burping and bloating.

It also causes common cancer symptoms of weight loss, fatigue and high temperature.

After Bea’s diagnosis in March 2015, she had a Whipple operation at North Staffordshire Hospital.

The Whipple procedure is a complicated operation that removes the head of the pancreas and various parts of the bowel. It can be lifesaving for people with pancreatic cancer.

Bea then had chemotherapy at South Cheshire Hospital. But sadly, it failed to work and the cancer spread to other parts of her body.

At the same time, she struggled to eat due to sores in her mouth caused by the chemo.

Bea “carried on fighting till the end”, Nicola said, sadly dying in November 2016, aged 62.

Nicola said: "The youngest grandchild at the time, my Mum was determined to see her first birthday which was in the October.

“So she saw that and I think as soon as she saw her first birthday then that's when she sort of, didn't give up, but she knew she'd seen it and could rest.

"Maybe if my Mum had known that burping and the jaundice was a sign earlier on then they might have caught it and she might still be here now.

"I mean there are lucky ones out there. But it's just really to get the signs and symptoms heard a bit more really.”

Nicola has shared her mum's story as part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

The disease is diagnosed in around 10,000 people every year, according to Pancreatic Cancer Action.

It has the lowest survival odds of all cancers – 9,000 patients die of it a year and only seven per cent live for at least five years.

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