EastEnders favourite Carol Jackson is to face a breast cancer battle in a hard-hitting new storyline for the soap.

The drama will kick off just before Christmas as Carol – played by Lindsay Coulson – discovers a lump in her breast and goes for further tests.

And it comes just as her life – including her rekindled romance with David Wicks (Michael French) is getting back on track.

Viewers will see her face an agonising wait for test results – with the impact explored into the new year as she and the Jacksons face the outcome.

“This is a very important storyline as breast cancer is something that affects so many people,” Lindsay said.

“Through Carol’s story I hope we can raise awareness of the impact of breast cancer on the people that have it and their families.”

Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said: “EastEnders has a long tradition of dealing with social issues and breast cancer is one that the majority of people have been affected by in some way.

“And this is not just a story about breast cancer. This is a story about women, about mothers and daughters, and ultimately about family. And with Lindsey Coulson, Michael French, Patsy Palmer and Natalie Cassidy giving powerhouse performances at its centre, this is a storyline that will inform, move, and shake up the audience as it shakes up the Jackson family.”

Produces have worked with health professionals and charities including Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure the subject matter is handled appropriately.

It is not the first time EastEnders has broached the issue of breast cancer – with Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) undergoing a mastectomy several years ago after she was also diagnosed with the disease.