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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Saturday November 08, 2003
06:20 AM


[ #15653 ]

Yesterday I had some good news. A few weeks ago I went into hospital to have surgery. At the time officially they were simply removing a lump, but we all knew it was a tumour. Yesterday I saw the oncologist to discuss the results of the CT-scan, blood tests, X-ray and tissue histology. The bad news is that I do indeed have cancer (a teratoma), but the good news is that there is no evidence of spread, and if the tumour marker levels have fallen in the latest blood test, then I'm probably fixed.

I know have the joy of a blood test and x-ray every month for the next year, plus more CT-scans, and after that tests annually for the rest of my life. If anything shows up then it's chemotherapy, but the teratoma I have is very sensitive so that's not so bad either.

It's really weird, I was worried sick before I saw my local GP, after they said it was probably cancer, and sent me to the surgeon I felt much better! When you are sitting in oncology and everyone looks very ill, it's really nice to be told that you have a better than 80% chance of being okay without having any more treatment at all, and a 95% chance even if you need treatment.

Don't die of ignorance or embarrassment! See your doctor at once, if you find any new lump or bump. One in three people in the west will get cancer in their life and on average 2/3rds will make a full recovery. If detected early most cancers, mine in particular, are very easy to treat, and a full recovery is expected in most cases.

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  • Don't forget about funny shaped, black, fast growing moles!
    I almost ignored a melanoma until it was too late.
    Even if you don't have insurance, a checkup from a doctor certainly beats death.
    • Indeed! I could not agree more.

      Thankfully I live in a country that provides universal, free at the point of access, medical care. For non critical conditions it can be slow to react, but for emergency conditions the UK's National Health Service [] offers a very fast, high quality service.

      While the NHS may not offer the luxury toys that the best private medical insurance can offer, it's much cheaper, and of comparable quality to an American HMO. It's also works for everyone in the UK, no matter what their f

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."