Patients' stories about radiotherapy
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Stories from patients
Helping more people survive cancer is the aim of everything we do. Read stories from people who have been treated with radiotherapy, and how research has made a difference to them.
Trialling a new form of radiotherapy
Oliver from London was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2009 and took part in a Cancer Research UK trial of a new, more precise way of giving radiotherapy. “I was really pleased to have joined the trial because I know the side effects from regular radiotherapy could have been far more severe. I feel lucky that the high quality of my treatment has helped me lead a regular life again.”
More precise radiotherapy
Samantha from Belvedere in Kent was diagnosed in 2002 with meningioma, a type of benign brain tumour. She had surgery, and was all clear for five years, but then her tumour returned in 2008. By then, a new type of radiotherapy called IMRT was available, which Cancer Research UK trials helped to bring to patients. “Without surgery and IMRT – at best, I would have lost the sight in my left eye, at worst, I would not be here to tell the tale.”
Having radiotherapy brachytherapy
Sharon from London had been a manager of the Cancer Research UK shop in South Woodford for 13 years when she was diagnosed with womb cancer herself in 2007. She had surgery to remove her womb, ovaries and cervix, and was then treated with a type of radiotherapy called brachytherapy, involving targeted internal radiation implants. “I was shocked to find out that I had womb cancer,” says Sharon. “I had supported the work of the charity for many years but never expected that I might be personally affected.”
"My cancer was treatable because of research"
Rajvinder from Wolverhampton was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2014. “When the doctor told me it was a blood cancer, I remember sobbing a little. After six months of chemotherapy and a month of radiotherapy I was told that I was clear and that the cancer wasn't growing anymore. My cancer was treatable because of the advances in research. But not everyone has the options I had.”
Life after cancer
Laurel from London was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2006. After both radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment she has been cancer free for 10 years. But the treatment was tough and she struggled to swallow and walk at times. Today, things have improved and although she has suffered permanent hearing loss due to treatment, Laurel says, “I never complain about it, because I’m alive. Since having cancer, I’ve gone back to college to train in British Sign Language and am a specialist support worker for children with special needs. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for research and the medical care I got.”