Patients' stories about radiotherapy
For the past 120 years, we’ve been making discoveries that have saved countless lives. But we have so much more to do. Our strategy sets out how we'll accelerate progress towards a better future.
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.”
Having radiotherapy brachytherapy
Sharon from London was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2007 whilst working as the manager of the Cancer Research UK shop in South Woodford. She had surgery to remove her womb, ovaries and cervix, and was then treated with radiotherapy brachytherapy, involving targeted internal radiation plants. Sharon retired as shop manager in 2019 but continues to volunteer twice a week. “I was shocked to find out that I had womb cancer,” said Sharon. “I had supported the work of the charity for many years but never expected that I might personally be 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 chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment she has been cancer free for over 10 years. But the treatment was tough and she struggled to swallow and walk at times. Today, although she has suffered permanent hearing loss due to treatment, Laurel remains positive. “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.”