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Strike action from Thursday 27 June to Tuesday 2 July 2024

Junior doctors at The Christie will strike from 7am on Thursday 27 June until 7am on Tuesday 2 July 2024.

We are proactively contacting patients with appointments that may be affected. If you have an appointment on any of these dates, please continue to come to The Christie and our other centres as planned, unless we contact you to tell you otherwise. Please do not call to check if your appointment is still going ahead.

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Mike Holland, Christie patient

In July 2019, Mike asked his wife to look at a mole on his back that had become a little itchy and irregular. After just one quick look, she told him to go and see the GP. By August, the mole had begun to thicken and bleed and was removed for biopsy.

Unfortunately, it was confirmed as malignant melanoma in September, and Mike was referred to The Christie in November 2019.

Mike had several standard scans during this time to see if the melanoma had spread internally, and one of the scans showed something wrong in his small bowel. Following a biopsy taken by a fine needle aspiration in early December 2019, Mike was diagnosed with having a separate second cancer – a neuroendocrine tumour (NET). The initial treatment for the NET was a monthly injection of Lanreotide – a hormone suppressant which slowed the growth of the tumour.

In autumn 2020, Mike returned to The Christie after more standard scans showed that the melanoma had spread to the lung. He started on a 2-year course of immunotherapy to treat the melanoma. During the first 3 months of this treatment, Mike had very difficult side effects including the development of an extensive deep vein thrombosis.

But incredibly, the treatment removed the melanoma. In late 2022, Mike was offered surgery to remove the NET through the Colorectal and Peritoneal Oncology Centre (CPOC) at The Christie. CPOC has an international reputation for treating advanced and early colorectal cancer, appendix tumours, peritoneal tumours, anal cancer and tumours within the pelvis.

Mike’s surgeon at The Christie was Mr Paul Sutton and with clinical nurse specialist Rachel Connolly, Mr Sutton led Mike through what the surgery would involve, the potential risks and what would happen during the recovery period.

The surgery took place in January 2023 and was a complete success. Just short of a metre (15%) of Mike’s small bowel was removed and the bowel re-sected. After 7 days in hospital, he was discharged to recover at home.

“When I was offered the chance of surgery on the NET, I jumped at it. My outlook back in late 2020 was not good and the fact that I would ever be potentially cancer free back then was not something that I thought was possible.

The care I have had with both of my cancers at The Christie has been exemplary. Paul Sutton and Rachel Connolly filled me with confidence at a time of great anxiety – major surgery is never an easy option – and their compassion, dedication and expertise in their field has been a crucial part of my treatment and recovery.

Mike Holland, NET patient

To find out more about colorectal and peritoneal oncology treatment at The Christie, please see our About CPOC page for further information.