In April 2010, Steve had his appendix removed at his local hospital. Then in May 2014, while living abroad, he felt a pain in his abdomen where his appendix once was. Steve returned to the UK and went to his local hospital, where a scan showed he had an abnormal growth.
Steve was then referred to 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.
His consultant at The Christie told him that he had pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) – a rare type of cancer that develops in the appendix. As well as dealing with the difficult news that he had cancer, Steve’s consultant also told him that his tumour was currently too large for surgery. This meant he would need chemotherapy to reduce it first.
From September 2014 to February 2015, Steve had 5 rounds of chemotherapy at his local hospital. The local hospital monitored his tumour with scans and sent these to The Christie for analysis. In December 2014, Steve said he got an early Christmas present – his consultant told him his tumour had shrank and he could now have surgery to remove it.
Steve’s operation was a success and he had further cycles of oral chemotherapy. In September 2015, Steve’s consultant gave him the amazing news that his cancer was in remission.
Since his treatment, Steve has been a strong supporter of The Christie. With his wife Kay, he always attends the annual peritoneal tumour service (PTS) patient day in CPOC and has talked about his experiences with staff and patients.
“Despite all that has happened to me since I came back to live in the UK, by far the most important aspect was my referral to The Christie. The service has been exemplary and thankfully continues up to the present day. It is provided by dedicated, professional, hard-working people who care about each individual patient.
“Despite it being a hospital, it has a warm, friendly feeling and when you become a patient at The Christie, you are made to feel special in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We have got to know most of the consultants and specialist nurses in department 22 by name and they have provided compassion and reassurance at every appointment. They always appear to have the time to listen and share in what you are experiencing because they have helped so many other patients in the past.
“It provides a wonderful example of the NHS and a beacon hospital for cancer treatment throughout the world.