Wednesday , September 28 2022

Cardiff woman joins call for faster pancreatic cancer treatment


Charlotte Thomas and her brother Mark MerryCopyright Protection
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Charlotte Thomas said that "heavy times," losing brother Mark and her mother, helped bring family closer

A woman whose mother and brother died of pancreatic cancer have joined calls for faster treatment after diagnosis.

Pancreatic Cancer UK wants a 20-day target for treatment by 2024.

Charlotte Thomas, 43, of Cardiff, said she was a "living nightmare" for the loss of her mother, Mavis Dallinger, 59, in 2001, followed by his brother Mark Merry in October 2017 .

The Welsh government said it expects people with cancer to be treated as soon as possible.

Pancreatic Cancer UK said that one in four people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer died within one month and three out of four died within one year.

Chief Executive Diana Jupp said that "they are denied the only chance of survival because they are simply not treated quickly enough."

The charity wishes to launch a Rapid Surgery Pilot, jointly funded by the Birmingham University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

This average surgery time for 32 patients, from two months to a little over two weeks to 31, had successfully removed tumors.

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Charlotte Thomas said her mother Mavis Dallinger and brother Mark Merry were robbed of their future

It is also desirable to introduce one-stop clinics where all the necessary tests can be done to determine the suitability of people for surgery, and specialized nurses coordinate care with the relevant departments.

"In recent years, we have seen remarkable progress in other cancers such as breast and prostate, and a lack of progressive progression for the pancreas," Ms. Jupp said.

Ms. Thomas said that patients are currently diagnosed and sent home for weeks while taking a course of treatment.

She described this as "psychological torture" for her brother.

A spokesman for the Welsh government said: "Pancreatic cancer tends to be difficult to identify in its earlier, more treatable stages.

However, clinicians can prioritize patients based on the severity of their illness.

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Mavis Dallinger and her son Mark Merry died of the same cancer

"Remove from their future"

Mrs. Dallinger was diagnosed in January 2001 and died in December.

When her son began to experience similar symptoms in February 2016, she performed a CT scan and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Stage 4.

It has spread to the liver and has not been able to perform surgery so that it could be offered palliative care. He lived 20 months until his death in October 2017.

Mrs. Thomas said: "My amazing mother died and was only 59. She felt her future was robbed of her, as usually most people with pancreatic cancer feel when they have a diagnosis.

"When my brother called me from A & E and told me he had the same thing that his mother completely destroyed.

"At first, we thought that because 15 years have passed since we lost our mother to the same disease, it must certainly be something I can do for my brother – there must be a different prognosis or there must be a different treatment.

"Then I was so afraid because I knew what our mother had done and we feared it would be exactly the same for Mark. It was a living nightmare.

"For my brother, the worst of all was the way he had psychologically affected him. He felt that his future had been robbed of him and he did not want to be that person with cancer.

"Mark was on the powerful steroids for pain and I think they were affecting his mind.

The hospital put ketamine and the strongest drugs he could have found. He just took his body and his life.

"My granddaughter actually had his head on his chest when his heart stopped. The only consolation was that he was no longer suffering."

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