A Stamford man battling cancer is backing an awareness week.
John Chaplin, 82, of North Street, Stamford, spoke out about his battle with lymphoma during Lymphathic Cancer Awareness Week, which started on Monday and runs until Sunday.
John was first diagnosed with an aggressive high-grade form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008 after finding a lump in his groin. He initially believed it was a hernia but doctors diagnosed cancer quickly.
He was treated with chemotherapy and after five years of close observation, he was discharged in 2013.
But sadly, earlier this year after a bad case of shingles he discovered that a lower grade form had returned and he began chemotherapy again this week at Peterborough City Hospital.
John said: “When you first realise you actually have cancer it results in a multitude of emotions: fear, anger, resentment and a determination to beat it.
“Being positive is the only way to not only tackle the disease but survive it.’
Lymphatic cancer is the UK’s fifth most common cancer but there are more than 60 forms - or subtypes - of lymphoma and every single part of the body can be affected. Lymphoma is often hard to diagnose and has a wide range of treatment options.
John was lucky that his cancer was diagnosed quickly and he’s determined to beat it again. He said: “I don’t feel unwell and I don’t like being called ill. It’s not good news but you just accept it and think ‘now we’ve got a fight on our hands’. I think it’s the only way to deal with it.”
The Lymphoma Association charity is concerned that lymphatic cancer patients in the UK are not receiving the vital information they need to understand their type of cancer or make an informed decision about their treatment.
As part of this year’s campaign, other lymphoma patients can request an awareness pack that includes a What’s your Type? card. The charity hopes the card will become routine use for health professionals involved in diagnosing lymphoma and for anyone already diagnosed who doesn’t know their subtype to use with their medical team.