Deborah James leaves hospital after bowel cancer surgery
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Mrs Hurdman of Worcestershire was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer on Valentine’s Day 2020.
Since then, the condition advanced to her lungs and forced her to use a wheelchair.
She was given the first dose of the nameless experimental drug, designed to target the KRAS mutation in cancer, last October.
The KRAS mutation is one of the most common in cancer, occurring across a number of cancer types.
Speaking of the results, Mrs Hurdman said: “It really is a wonder drug. Within days I didn’t need to use the wheelchair at all.
“I spoke to my sister on the phone for an hour, something that would have wiped me out before…I feel myself again.”
Dr Matthew Krebs of the NHS Trust where the drug was administered commented the results were: “Promising for a drug in its early development directed at KRAS mutation that has historically been very difficult to treat.
“There’s much more work to do before this drug may be available routinely for patients, and not everyone will respond in this way, but Terri’s case highlights the importance of genetic testing in cancer patients and the potential benefits that clinical trials of new drugs can hold.”
Dr Krebs said a similar drug had recently been approved for lung cancer.
Meanwhile around 43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year.
In common with other cancers, bowel cancer has a number of symptoms to look out for.
These include a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, a pain or lump in your tummy, bleeding from the bottom, or blood in the poo.
Cancer charity Bowel Cancer UK says: “Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer, but if you have one or more or if things don’t feel right, visit your GP.
“Your symptoms could be caused by other common conditions that can be treated or controlled by your GP.”
Other conditions that share symptoms with bowel cancer are:
• Anal fissures
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Diverticular disease
• Crohn’s disease
• Ulcerative colitis.
The most important thing with cancer as well as awareness is if a person is unsure, they should get themselves checked.
It is far better to get checked and for it to be nothing than to ignore what’s wrong and to find out further down the line action could have been taken.
Cancer will affect one in two people in the UK during their lifetime.
For more information on the disease contact the NHS or consult with your GP.
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