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Patricia offers hope to blood cancer sufferers

26 September 2017

It was the best Christmas present she had ever received! 

Almost two years ago, as she was putting the finishing touches to her Christmas gift wrapping Patricia Baggott received a call to tell her she was ‘cancer clear’ after treatment for lymphoma.

 Sixty-seven-year Patricia, of Essington, near Wolverhampton, went to her doctor after a pain in her side gradually spread to her lower back and into her groin. 

 At first she thought she had kidney stones – a problem she had suffered from in the past.

But tests revealed that she had lymphoma - a type of blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. In Patricia’s case it had reached the lining of her chest cavity.

 She met with Dr Shankar Paneesha, consultant haematologist works at Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston hospitals. He who ordered a biopsy to be carried out before Patricia embarked on six sessions of chemotherapy.

 “I was in deep shock,” said Patricia, “But Dr Paneesha was very reassuring and told me there was no reason why my illness couldn’t be successfully treated.

 “During chemo I had good days and bad days - on good days I continued with my office work and kept busy and on bad ones I simply rested. To be honest the worst thing for me was losing my hair – but I quickly remedied that problem by buying a by a wig - or two!

 “But throughout the treatment Dr Paneesha kept my spirits up and my attitude positive. That’s why I’m hoping my story gives hope to other sufferers – no-one wants cancer but it doesn’t mean the end, it can be beaten,” said Patricia.

 Dr Paneesha explained: “Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. Patients can present with a variety of symptoms but the most common ones, and the ones that people should watch out for, are night sweats to the extent that you have to change your nightwear or even your blankets; persistent swelling usually in the neck, armpit or groin; consistent tiredness or lethargy.

 “As some of these symptoms can easily be mistaken for the effects busy life, menopause or simply getting older, people can ignore them thinking that they will pass.

 “I would urge people to contact their GP if they have any of these symptoms for over a fortnight. Although lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK it is also eminently treatable if detected early.”

 Once Patricia’s chemotherapy sessions were completed she was given a CT-PET scan which showed she was cancer clear and called into the hospital so that Dr Paneesha could give her the great news.

 “Christmas can be a very emotional time anyway so imagine how I was when I got this news. I really couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present,” said Patricia.

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