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I AM ALWAYS HAPPY to tell my story about how I survived Stage IV colorectal cancer. This is not because I want to boast about it, but because I want to share some things that helped me to survive.
I live in the UK and I trusted my doctors. I had received two types of chemotherapy and there did not seem much hope for me. I had a tumour in my colon and a 15 cm tumour in my liver. It was really our own research on the internet that taught us about new biological treatments being used in America and France. These medicines were not being used locally in the UK but I asked for them and eventually paid for them. I was lucky because my family supported me and we were able to pay. This new treatment shrank the tumour in my liver and I was able to have an operation to remove it. From a prognosis of just three months, I am alive ten years later and very well today.
I often think about other patients living in parts of Europe who are not given the chance that I had. There are many countries where you are not able to receive new treatments like I did, or maybe, the cost is too high. It makes me feel very sad to think that many lives are lost unnecessarily just because people don’t know and don’t ask. It is really important to take an active role and to nd out, like I did. If I had not fought for my treatment, I certainly would not be alive today.
The EPAG (Expert Patient Advisory Group), together with Europacolon, our Associate and A liate Groups, clinicians, politicians, and the media should be working together. We should all be united in our ght to improve the standard of care and prevention of colorectal cancer across Europe.
WE ARE UNITED AGAINST COLORECTAL CANCER