My name is Ian Veitch, and I was 49 when diagnosed with colorectal cancer, this was following repeated visits to my GP practice over an eighteen month period, I finally got referred in November 2012, I was informed by the colorectal nurse who carried out the colonoscopy that I had a cancerous tumour in my rectum and biopsies were taken to confirm. I then had both an MRI & CT scan to confirm staging. My tumour was 52mm in length, it had gone through the bowel wall and was in an area with some lymph nodes, staged at cT3 cN1.It was decided that the tumour would need to be shrunk to allow surgery. I underwent a course of oral chemotherapy for 2 weeks followed by a further 5 weeks of chemotherapy and external beam radiotherapy which was completed on the 8th February 2013.
Restaging scans were carried out in April 2013 which showed significant downstaging with all lymph nodes and primary tumour regressing significantly to a length of 27mm. I was offered surgery and told this would result in the need for me to have a permanent stoma which I declined as I was still only 49 years of age so, I refused surgery and got referred to Professor Myint for consideration of Papillon boost treatment. Professor Myint agreed to treat me and I completed 4 fractions of Papillon boost, ending on 4th July 2013, I am now ten years on and classified as cured!
I think it’s important to add, that although NICE has now acknowledged Papillon as a standard treatment (amongst others) for rectal cancer, it is really important to be aware that even to this day the stage I was diagnosed at is still deemed unsuitable for Papillion treatment as some experts believe it won’t work for late-stage tumours. All I can say is, here I am, living proof 10 years on from being diagnosed, that it clearly can work, thankfully I only listened to one expert - Professor Sun Myint. People should be made aware of all treatment options before making their decisions. My sincere thanks goes to all the team at Clatterbridge for their care and dedication but most of all to Prof Sun Myint who quite literally saved my life and I will always be eternally grateful to him