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Awareness and Early Diagnosis

Front of a Boots pharmacy where Nicola, a Cancer Champion, works.

Cancer Champions: Nicola’s story

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions | No Comments

In her job as a Community Pharmacist, Nicola spends her day supporting and building relationships with local people. Three months into her role, Nicola noticed something different about one of her regular customers and used her experience to help.

Just three months into her new job at a Boots Pharmacy in Hull, Nicola knew many of her regular customers well. She noticed that one gentleman, who was known to pick up his medication order like clockwork, had not been in for a while. He was a particularly sociable man who liked a laugh and a giggle with the staff, always had a smile for everyone, and was totally committed to caring for his disabled wife.

Front of a Boots pharmacy where Nicola, a Cancer Champion, works.

Nicola was just three months into her job at Boots when she noticed something off about the man.

He was always keen to chat, especially about his family and their mini-breaks away. His absence was unusual, but what was more unusual was his behaviour when he came in the following month. Nicola knew he must have been unwell, and this was confirmed when finally returned to the pharmacy to collect his usual prescription as well as some antibiotics.

Nicola straightaway noticed a change in his demeanour. He was less talkative and chose to sit and wait on the chairs away from the counter, rather than stand and chat with her as was usual. She also noticed he had lost a significant amount of weight, was coughing almost constantly, and his skin was yellow.

After Nicola asked if the man was okay, he responded that he thought he may have a chest infection. Nicola felt there was more to this and invited the gentleman into their meeting room for a chat. With further conversation, he admitted to Nicola that he was experiencing a significant change with his bowel movements and had noticed blood in his stools. While the man was talking, Nicola looked at his skin and the whites of eyes – they appeared ‘banana’ yellow. He told her he had a blood test booked for a weeks’ time, but Nicola was seriously concerned.

She reported the situation to her manager who agreed that a further conversation was needed with the GP surgery, which was attached to the pharmacy. Nicola spoke with the lead receptionist and explained some of the man’s symptoms. As a result, the gentleman was invited for a blood test there and then. Later the same day, he was called back into the surgery as the GP said something serious had been picked up on his blood test. Along with his notes, he was sent straight to the local hospital to see a specialist who confirmed that he had metastatic cancer which was treatable, but not curable.

The following morning, the gentleman and his wife brought in a huge bunch of flowers to thank Nicola for her care and support. Receiving the diagnosis of cancer may not have been able to save his life, but it meant a great deal to the couple that it would lead to treatment that could manage his symptoms and extend the time he would have with his family. It also gave them chance to make alternative arrangements for his wife’s care.

Nicola believes she was ready to ask the right questions and take the necessary steps because, at that time, her father was being treated for lung cancer and her brother for Hodgkin lymphoma. Her lived experience and the relationships she had built with her regular customers meant she was aware of certain signs and had the confidence to take the necessary steps to help someone. She’s now asking other pharmacy staff to take the Cancer Champion Training to equip them with the same tools.

“I was able to use my own experiences with cancer to help a patient. Since then, I’ve taken part in the Cancer Champion training, and I think it’s a great way to give pharmacy staff everywhere the same knowledge, understanding, and skills required to support their customers in the same way.”

Nicola, Cancer Champion

After his diagnosis, the gentleman was given an estimated three months to live. He died 18 months later. While Nicola still feels the emotions of that time deeply, she is proud of her actions and the opportunity to positively support another family affected by cancer.

Cancer Champion Awareness Sessions are available to schools and colleges, businesses, community groups, and the public. The team hold virtual or face to face sessions, as well as bespoke sessions that focus on a particular cancer or topic.

To get involved, email eryccg.cancerchampion@nhs.net or visit www.hcvcanceralliance.org.uk/CancerChampions

Image of a large mobile unit which is parked in a car park. A man is walking down some steps away from the unit.

Thousands of people set to benefit as NHS lung health checks confirmed for North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis | No Comments

Past and current smokers in North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire will be invited to a NHS lung health check service in a drive to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and save more lives.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has confirmed that North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire will be two of 43 places across the country to run the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme.

Expected to start in 2022, the initiative means approximately 45,000 past and current smokers, aged 55 to less than 75, in North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire will be invited to a lung health check by their GP. This will identify an estimated 440 cases of lung cancer earlier than otherwise would have been.

Those invited will have an initial phone assessment with a specially trained health care professional. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they will be offered a low dose CT scan of the lungs for further investigation.

Image of a patient receiving a CT scan as part of a lung health check. The radiographer is wearing a face visor, apron and gloves.

The scanner will be housed in a mobile unit and taken to convenient locations, such as supermarket or sport venue car parks, across North and North East Lincolnshire. Stop smoking advice will also be offered to support current smokers wanting to quit.

Image of a large mobile unit which is parked in a car park. A man is walking down some steps away from the unit.

Lung health check mobile units will be placed in convenient locations

Lung cancer can often be caught too late as there are rarely symptoms at the earlier stages. The programme is designed to check those most at risk of developing lung cancer in order to spot signs earlier, at the stage when it’s much more treatable, ultimately saving more lives.

In January 2020, Hull became one of 10 initial lung health check pilot sites and has since welcomed over 5,000 participants to the service, with more than 2,500 of those receiving a CT scan. The service has helped to identify cancer at an early stage and provided opportunities for earlier treatment, which is helping to save people’s lives.

Dr Satpal Shekhawat, Medical Director at NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said:

“Unfortunately, due to there being few to no symptoms at an early stage, lung cancer is regularly diagnosed late and currently causes more deaths than any other cancer within North and North East Lincolnshire, but if caught early, it’s much more treatable and the survival rate is much higher.

“Being able to offer lung health checks to those at higher risk of lung cancer, will provide an opportunity for more and earlier interventions, including curative surgery. The service will also help to improve our populations health by offering free stop smoking advice and support to current smokers.”

Dr Stuart Baugh, Clinical Director at Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance, said:

“Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance is pleased to have secured funding for the further roll out of Targeted Lung Health Checks across our region.

“The extension of lung health checks will play a key part in helping to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan ambition of diagnosing three out of four people with cancer at an early stage by 2028.

“We have already seen the positive impacts this service has for patients, since the first pilot site was launched in Hull in January 2020, and we look forward to working with our partners to extend the reach of this service from Spring 2022.”

For more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme please visit www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk

Image of Dr Stuart Baugh standing in front of a brick wall. Stuart is wearing a suit and is looking at the camera smiling.

Dr Stuart Baugh, Clinical Director for Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance

Headshot of Graham, a Lung Health Check participant. He's wearing a white t shirt and glasses.

Lung Health Checks: Graham’s story

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis

“I first became aware of the Lung Health Check service in March 2020, when me and my wife were invited to attend an appointment at Lidl car park. I wasn’t worried about my health at the time but there was a history of lung cancer in my family, so I thought there’s no harm in getting checked.

“The appointment was booked for the 30th of March, but like a lot of things impacted by Covid-19 I got a phone call to say it would need to be postponed because of lockdown. As soon as the service restarted, we were booked in to speak with someone who asked a few questions about our family and smoking history.

Headshot of Graham, a Lung Health Check participant. He's wearing a white t shirt and glasses.

Graham was surprised at the impact the appointment has had on his life.

“This time we were given an appointment to have a CT scan in Castle Hill Hospital car park. It was easy to attend because a free parking space had been reserved for us and being able to book a similar appointment time as my wife was also a big help. The staff onboard the unit talked us through what to expect and we both had a scan, which was quick and painless. I never thought that appointment would have such a big impact on my life, but a week later I was sat in front of a consultant being told they had found something on my lung. We started to discuss treatment options and I was given the name of a Macmillan nurse who would later be in touch.

“Was I worried? Yes. Did I wish I hadn’t of known? No. I felt incredibly lucky to be receiving help and with the support of my family and friends, I made the decision to have part of my left lung removed. The operation took place in June 2021, and I have since received confirmation that it was cancer.

“The last few months have been a lot to take in and although I’m pleased not to need chemotherapy or radiotherapy, I’m still receiving ongoing care and help with my breathing. I also have weekly calls with the SmokeFree team, who have helped me stop vaping, and the Macmillan nurse has provided fantastic support throughout.

“Although my wife and her two brothers, who also took part in the lung health check service, have had very different experiences to me, I truly believe they are all equally as positive. My wife is now receiving support for slight COPD and her brothers were quickly reassured that their lungs are healthy.

“My friend has recently been invited to take part in a lung health check and I’m now urging him and others to go. He said he’s really sorry for what I’ve been through and is scared about what the service might find, but I’ve told him not to be sorry or scared. That lung health check saved my life.”

Headshot of Catherine, a lung health check participant. She has long black hair and is smiling.

Lung Health Checks: Catherine’s story

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis

As a Hull resident, who is aged 58 and a current smoker, Catherine was invited to attend a lung health check in July 2021. Here Catherine tells us what happened next and why she is now encouraging others to take part.

Headshot of Catherine, a lung health check participant. She has long black hair and is smiling.

Catherine has cut down on smoking since her appointment.

“After speaking with a lung health check nurse on the phone, I was invited to Castle Hill hospital for a CT scan. The scanner was on board a mobile unit in the hospital car park and although going through the tunnel was a bit scary, the staff were really friendly, and it was fine.

“Two weeks after attending Castle Hill Hospital, I was diagnosed with emphysema. I felt surprised and gutted. I’ve been a smoker for 45 years and although my GP had previously advised me to stop, being told I had emphysema hit me for six. I knew I needed to make a change and thought of my daughter and granddaughter.”

“This wasn’t my first attempt at stopping smoking. I had managed to cut down to five cigarettes a day before covid, but I struggled to smoke less during the pandemic and decided to take up the offer of help from SmokeFree Hull.

“They’ve been a great support so far and I receive weekly phone calls to check how I’m getting on. Being able to trial the use of patches and vapes has helped me to cut down and in the last two weeks, I’ve only smoked six cigarettes.

“It hasn’t been easy but I’m already starting to notice some small differences. When I bike to work, the Anlaby Road flyover feels like less of a hill to climb and I’ve been able to do some extra exercise on the rowing machine at home.

“It’s been just over a month since my lung health check and finding out I have emphysema has been really hard, especially as my partner lost someone to this previously. For that reason, I feel extremely lucky to have caught it early and to be getting help and support from my family and the NHS.

“Having that check has made a big difference to my life and I’ve already encouraged my friend to take up her appointment.”

To read the experiences of other patients of the lung health check programme, please click here.

Picture shows a group of people sat round tables holding red flags.

Cancer ‘Red Flag’ roadshows for people with Learning Disabilities

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis | No Comments

Over the next few months, People First Merseyside will be delivering peer led training for people with learning disabilities (and their families and carers) across the Humber, Coast and Vale region. The free training sessions, which have been co-produced by people with Learning Disabilities, are designed to raise awareness of how to have good lung health and teach the signs and symptoms of cancer within a fun and interactive environment.

Scarborough
Monday 13th September, 1pm – 3pm at Community Centre (The Street), 12 Lower Clark Street, Scarborough, YO12 7PW

Selby
Friday 17th September 2021, 1.30pm – 3.30pm Portholme Church, Portholme Road, Selby, YO8 4QH

Harrogate
Thursday 16th September 2021, 1pm—3pm at Follifoot Village Hall, Tofts Lane, Harrogate, HG3 1DY

York
Friday 17th September 2021 9.30am — 11.30am Priory Street Centre, Main Hall, 15 Priory Street, York YO1 6ET

Richmond / Northallerton
Tuesday 14th September, 9.30am -11.30am at Northallerton Town Hall, High Street, Northallerton, DL7 8QR

To book your place, please contact 07864968132 / nyccg.engagement@nhs.net

Thirsk
Tuesday 14th September, 1pm – 3pm at Wellburn Village Hall, Church Lane, Wellburn, YO60 7EG

To book your place, please contact Julie Butterworth: 07427 991 920 / Julie.butterworth2@nhs.net

Hull
Wednesday 3rd November, 1pm – 3pm
Thursday 4th November 2021, 10am – 12pm / 1pm – 3pm
CASE Training, 60 Charles Street, Hull, HU2 8DQ

To book your place, please contact Mark Cooke: 01482 320 200 / markc@casetraininghull.co.uk

Picture shows a group of people sat round tables holding red flags.
Image shows two people and text that says Spot the Difference? Lung Cancer doesn't discriminate. Nor do we. We're here to spot the difference. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Spot the Difference and take action

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions

Early symptoms of lung cancer can be subtle and easy to ignore. A bit of breathlessness is put down to being a bit out of shape. Lack of energy can be caused by anything from poor diet to low mood. And a persistent cough? Well, we all know what springs to mind when we hear a cough nowadays.

A new awareness campaign from Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation aims to help people ‘spot the difference’ in their health, identifying symptoms which are unusual for them and encourage and reassure them to take action.

Spot the Difference highlights many of different lung cancer symptoms including a persistent cough, breathlessness, weight loss and fatigue and how they can masquerade in every day activities. It also features a variety of patients who spotted differences in their health, were diagnosed early and went on to have curative intent treatment.

To find out more about the campaign and potential symptoms, visit roycastle.org/ spotthedifference

Image shows two people and text that says Spot the Difference? Lung Cancer doesn't discriminate. Nor do we. We're here to spot the difference. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
An image of Katy Connolly. She has long brown hair and is smiling at the camera.

Finding HPV during a cervical screening: Katy’s story

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions | No Comments

After a routine cervical screening test, Katy received a letter saying she had abnormal cells. As a Cancer Champion, Katy is now sharing her experience to help tackle the fears some women and people with a cervix may be experiencing about cervical screening.

An image of Katy Connolly. She has long brown hair and is smiling at the camera.

After a routine cervical screening, Katy received a letter saying she had abnormal cells and HPV.

“Following a routine cervical screening test, I was shocked to receive a feedback letter saying I had abnormal cells and HPV virus. It seemed very sinister and I was worried; how had I got HPV?!

I was then asked to go to Hull Royal for a colposcopy, which made me feel very nervous, as I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I arrived, however, the whole team made me feel at ease as soon as I walked in.

Before the colposcopy examination, I spoke with a consultant who explained more about the HPV virus… that it was very normal, and that I had most likely had it for years. By keeping a close eye on the cells and removing tiny amounts of them if required, it can ultimately stop the development of cancerous cells. There was no suggestion to say that I would develop cancerous cells if the HPV was left untreated – but it was a great way to prevent it from happening.

An illustration of a woman attending a colposcopy appointment. She is on a hospital bed with legs in supports while a health professional assess her cervix through a colposcope which connects to a screen showing the cervix.

By keeping a close eye on the cells and removing tiny amounts of them if required, a colposcopy can ultimately stop the development of cancerous cells. [Image from Jo’s Trust]

The colposcopy was just like a cervical screening test, conducted by a specialist who viewed the cervix and took a tiny biopsy of the cells (which didn’t hurt at all) which were then sent off for analysis. I received a letter a few weeks later to say the abnormal cells had been examined and were not cancerous, so I would continue to have yearly smears to keep an eye on things.

The following year, when I returned for a smear test, I was referred for another colposcopy. This time, the consultant advised that they would remove some of the cells there and then – which was good because I didn’t have time to overthink it! Again, it was painless – just a little uncomfortable for a matter of seconds. The procedure was very quick. After using a local anaesthetic on the cervix (which also didn’t hurt) he used a device with a heated thin wire loop, which quickly removed a tiny amount of the abnormal cells.

Before I knew it, I was sat in a comfy chair, drinking a cup of tea, and eating a biscuit! I didn’t experience any pain when the anaesthetic wore off. I just had to avoid exercise for 3-4 weeks (other than walking).

I’ve just had another smear, and the HPV virus is still present, but there are no abnormal cells, so I’m being referred for a colposcopy again.

I’m very grateful for the cervical screening system – it is empowering to know that by attending the routine smear tests and colposcopies, I’m doing everything I can to monitor my health, which benefits both me and my family.”

What is cervical screening?

Cervical screening (previously known as a smear test) is a test to check the health of your cervix, which is the opening to your womb from your vagina. It’s not a test for cancer; it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

In England, all women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited to regular appointments by letter. During each appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix to check for human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix.

To find out more about the cervical screening programme and how attending your appointment can help prevent cancer, visit www.jostrust.org.uk

An image of the van used for lung health checks in Hull. It's a large white trailer with a blue swirl design, and it features the Siemens and Healthineers logos.

Targeted Lung Health Checks are back and they have never been more important

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis
Image of Dr Stuart Baugh standing in front of a brick wall. Stuart is wearing a suit and is looking at the camera smiling.

Dr Stuart Baugh, Programme Director
Lung Health Checks in Hull

Lung Health Checks in Hull are back following a temporary pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all those involved, we have been able to resume the Targeted Lung Health Check programme and introduce COVID-19 measures to ensure staff and patient safety.

The programme, which aims to diagnose lung cancer early, started its phased return in April and will play a key role in improving outcomes for people at high risk of developing lung cancer or other respiratory diseases.

It has been an incredibly difficult time for cancer services recently and our challenge of diagnosing lung cancer early, when treatment can be simpler and more successful, has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

At the peak of the pandemic, the number of cancer referrals dropped by 60% and although they have recovered well in general, lung cancer has been one of the slowest to recover.

A national ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign which ran between February and May has helped to encourage people with a persistent cough to contact their GP, but there can often be no symptoms during the earliest stage of lung cancer, so it is important to also identify and diagnose those at highest risk of developing the disease.

The Targeted Lung Health Check Programme invites people who are between the ages of 55 to less than 75, are current or previous smokers, live in Hull and are registered with a Hull GP, to take part in a free NHS Lung Health Check.

Eligible participants take part in a telephone assessment with a specially trained nurse and those reaching the risk score threshold are then invited to attend a low dose CT scan on board a mobile unit, which is currently situated at Castle Hill Hospital. You can find out more about Lung Health Check appointments in the video below:

Thee image shows a man stood in a kitchen coughing into a tissue. The text reads A cough that lasts three weeks or more could be a warning sign, just contact your GP practice if you've had a cough for three weeks or more and it isn't covid. Don't ignore it. It's probably nothing serious but it could be a sign of cancer. The graphic is used as part of a Help Us Help You Campaign

We have seen the potential impact of this programme from its initial launch in January 2020. The service ran for five weeks and during that time it welcomed over 900 participants, helped to identify a number of cancers at an early stage and referred over 100 people to local stop smoking services.

As we continue to accelerate Lung Health Checks in Hull, I am incredibly optimistic that we can make a difference to lung cancer outcomes and address some of the health inequalities that exist across our region.

There is a great enthusiasm for this programme both nationally and across the Humber, Coast and Vale area, and as we collaboratively work to roll out NHS Lung Health Checks further, I am looking forward to ensuring more people can benefit from a programme that is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions for cancer.

Dr Stuart Baugh
Programme Director
Targeted Lung Health Checks in Hull

Image of the breast cancer screening unit at Castle Hill Hospital. The unit white and decorated with the NHS logo and 'Humberside Breast Screening Unit' title

Local Cancer Champion encourages others to ‘go and get checked’ after attending a breast screening appointment

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions | No Comments

“Go and get checked. The staff know it is a frightening time, but be assured they are equipped to deal with your fears and help you every step of the way.”

After recently attending a breast screening appointment at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull, Jennie Salisbury, a 54 year old wife, mother, nanna, and Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Champion is now urging others to do the same after hearing concerns that the fear of Covid-19 may be deterring people from attending.

Jennie said: I received a letter inviting me to a breast screening appointment back in January. Initially I was a little hesitant about going because I have been anxious to venture out during lockdown, but then I remembered the promise I made to my sister, who died from breast cancer, that I would never miss an appointment.

The national breast screening programme invites women between the ages of 50 and 70 to have their breasts screened every three years. At the start of the pandemic, the programme was temporarily paused across Humber, Coast and Vale however, the service has now resumed and safety measures have been put in place to protect both staff and patients.

Jennie said: “I noticed a lot of safety measures in place at the breast screening unit. Hand sanitisers were available and there was a lot of distance between the chairs. When called through for my appointment, the Technician was busy sanitising the equipment and during every part of the procedure she sanitised her hands. The whole appointment took 15 mins and within half an hour I was back home.”

Photo of Jennie. Jennie has blonde hair and wears glasses. She looking at the camera and smiling. Jennie is wearing a black jumper.

Jennie was pleased to receive all clear results within a week of her appointment and is now advising other women to attend, when invited. Jennie said: “My advice is to go and get checked. The staff know it is frightening times but be assured they are equipped to deal with your fears and talk to you every step of the way. Having previously attended Cancer Champion training, I know how important it is to attend cancer screening appointments and I hope that by sharing my experience, other women will feel assured about attending screening during COVID-19.”

In this video, Hull CCG GP Dr Amy Oehring explains why attending a breast screening is so important:

To learn more about the early signs and symptoms of cancer, sign up for a free 90 minute Cancer Champion awareness session or click here to find out more.

Christine, a pancreatic cancer survivor, looks into the camera and smiles. She is wearing a red sparkly long-sleeved top and has brown cropped hair.

Christine’s story

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Living with and Beyond Cancer | No Comments

After experiencing persistent symptoms that weren’t normal for her, Christine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Here, she tells her story and explains her advice for anyone experiencing something similar.

Towards the end of January 2019, my entire body began to feel itchy. I tried everything to stop it, from soothing sprays to creams and antihistamine tablets,  but nothing worked. I wasn’t in any pain anywhere, but I felt maybe a little more tired.

On 1st February at around 3 am, I couldn’t stand the itching anymore, and asked my husband to take me to A&E, where I’d hoped they’d give me a strong antihistamine injection or some tablets to help. However, the young doctor who saw me insisted on doing a blood test, which I think saved my life.

Christine, a pancreatic cancer survivor, looks into the camera and smiles. She is wearing a red sparkly long-sleeved top and has brown cropped hair.

Christine credits a blood test in A&E for saving her life.

After waiting a while, I received my results. The doctors said there may be a blocked liver duct, but I’d need more tests to confirm this. I was allowed to go home but would return for CT scans and MRI appointments. On Monday morning, I felt ‘out of sorts’ and fainted at home. Martin, my husband, took me back to the hospital, where they kept me in for 5 days to do some tests.

Over the next few weeks, I had various other tests done. I also started being jaundiced and my urine was much darker than usual. It was evident something was seriously wrong, so an appointment was made to see the consultant at Castle Hill.

The consultant at Castle Hill confirmed I had pancreatic cancer and was faced with two options. I could either have a Whipple’s procedure, which would give me at least another five years, or do nothing, which would leave me with five to eight months.

I returned for further scans the next day and would be back in hospital on the 13th March for surgery on the 14th. I brought an overnight bag with me for my scans, so the consultant decided to keep me in until the next day for my pre-op tests. However, whilst on the ward, I needed rehydrating, and was kept in the hospital until my operation.

My operation, which required two surgeons, lasted for 10 hours and I spent 10 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until finally arriving home on the 5th April.I felt isolated without the ward staff but was very well looked after by Martin and by friends who would do anything for us. Some kind friends had given us a hospital bed to use at home, and Martin made a bedroom for me in the dining room. I actually stayed downstairs until January 2020!

When I left the hospital, I was given a prescription of Creon tablets, which is a medication to replace the enzymes usually made by the pancreas to break down food. I have to take these tablets with everything I eat.

I also began chemotherapy in June 2019, which I had for six months. I recovered well from this and my main problem since has been with my digestive system. I have learned to live with this, however, and I am hoping to speak to the dietician again to see if anything can be done to ease my digestive problems.

I am now 20 months on from the major surgery and delighted to say I am in remission.

I still see my oncologist every four months to have my bloods checked, and then every six months for a CT scan.

If anyone has anything ‘different’ happening to them, i.e. it’s not normal for you, seek professional advice. Although it pays to talk things over with family and friends and look online,  you can’t believe everything you’re told or see on the internet. Speak to your GP as they have the experience and knowledge to help you best. Staying positive helped me with my recovery, so I’d always recommend that!

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include:

  • the whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow (jaundice), you may also have itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual
  • loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
  • feeling tired or having no energy
  • a high temperature, or feeling hot or shivery

For more information, go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pancreatic-cancer/.

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