Breast cancer patient
When I discovered a lump in my left breast near my breast bone at the centre of my chest, it didn't seem like the sort of lump to be worried about. As a family we had a particularly difficult few years; our daughter had died of cancer leaving a young son and so when the lump was still there three months later, I knew I had to go and see my GP about it. Quickly referred to a specialist, it wasn't long before it was confirmed that the lump was indeed malignant.
I was operated on twice; once to remove the lump and then again to take samples of my lymph nodes from under my arms to ensure that the cancer hadn't spread. Although the cancerous lump was removed, I was told I needed radiotherapy to give me the best chance possible of containing the cancer.
My GP told me about GenesisCare South Downs, a new radiotherapy centre which had opened in the grounds of Spire Portsmouth Hospital, I jumped at the chance simply because it was more convenient. As one of only four independent radiotherapy centres outside of central London, GenesisCare enabled me to have specialist intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).
IMRT delivers larger doses of radiation to the tumour site, while reducing the amount delivered to surrounding normal tissue, this was particularly important in my case because of the location of the cancer. My tumour was so close to my lung and heart artery that if I had had conventional radiotherapy the healthy tissue in these areas could have been damaged which would have caused many problems.
For many, the treatment process is incredibly daunting however from the moment I came into the South Downs Centre I lost all fear because of the sensitive and reassuring way I was looked after by everyone with whom I came into contact with.
After each of my 21 radiotherapy sessions, the radiographer was able to show just how accurate the treatment was and how much normal tissue had been avoided. I was astounded at the phenomenal amount of planning that had gone into targeting the cancerous area so precisely.
Looking back at my treatment at GenesisCare South Downs I still cannot believe how easy everyone made it for me. GenesisCare really do deserve to get great credit. For cancer sufferers to say they enjoyed their treatment must be quite unusual, but I can honestly say that I did. I was thoroughly spoilt from beginning to end.