A CAMPAIGN urging people to ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ has received the support of a Hatton-based cancer survivor.
Chris Edmonds was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just weeks after her brother-in-law passed away from the disease in November 2014.
The 64-year-old first suspected something was wrong when suffering from stomach ‘flutterings’.
Subsequently, sensations of pressure in her back which gradually intensified, caused her to seek the opinion of her GP – a decision which ultimately saved her life.
Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of all 22 types of common cancer – just three per cent condition – with an average of 26 people diagnosed each day.
Chris has called on others to back the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, which has been launched by Public Health England.
Chris said though her diagnosis proved to be a tough time, she was glad her appointment with the doctor was made in time for the cancer to be treated.
She told The Observer: “The treatment used to treat my cancer was not available two years ago, I’m incredibly lucky.
“My treatment started with intense chemotherapy sessions in March 2015 and I took part in fortnightly courses which I responded well to.
“Nothing throughout the recovery process was awful, obviously it’s something I would’ve preferred not to go through but I lived my life how I wanted during treatment.
“It’s good to be able to pass on that hopeful message.
“After major surgery and further chemotherapy I was declared to be cancer free in December 2015.
“I am incredibly fortunate and grateful.”
Despite having the worst survival rate, pancreatic cancer received just three per cent of overall cancer research funding.
As with any cancer, early diagnosis can help treat condition more effectively.
The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign highlights the symptoms residents should be aware of – including being bloated most days, discomfort in the tummy area and nausea.
Chris said: “I would urge everyone not to ignore unusual symptoms if they persist for more than three weeks – even if they are not very painful.
“Something inside could be softly killing you.
“Go to a doctor and get a check up – you will not be wasting their time.
“I had some discomfort but went to doctor and played things down because it didn’t feel anything like I imagined cancer would feel.
“Though my doctor initially reassured me, subsequent tests led to the diagnosis which came with a very pessimistic prognosis.
“I was extremely lucky – had I not gone to the doctors and instead waited, my story could’ve been very different.”
Visit www.nhs.co.uk/tummytroubles for further details.