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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and as part of its Speak Up Against Cancer campaign Albion in the Community (AITC) spoke to Ernie about his experience.

At the end of 2016, Ernie was reaching the five-year point on his recovery from bowel cancer.  He had one scan to go before he could be discharged from the excellent care of the cancer unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Little did Ernie know that he was about to start a new course of treatment.

“I had my scan and shortly...

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Speak Up Against Cancer: Ernie’s story

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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and as part of its Speak Up Against Cancer campaign Albion in the Community (AITC) spoke to Ernie about his experience.

At the end of 2016, Ernie was reaching the five-year point on his recovery from bowel cancer.  He had one scan to go before he could be discharged from the excellent care of the cancer unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Little did Ernie know that he was about to start a new course of treatment.

“I had my scan and shortly afterwards had a call from our colorectal cancer nurse specialist, Gill. She said: Ernie, the good news is that there is no sign of any bowel cancer. The not so good news is that you are going to have to learn a whole new vocabulary.”  She went on to explain that the scan had shown some changes in the upper lobe of Ernie’s right lung that needed further investigation.

This was subsequently diagnosed as early stage adenocarcinoma in situ.  Lung cancer.  This was not a consequence of the previous bowel cancer, rather it was a new primary. Ernie had previously been a long-term pipe smoker, giving up just the year before.

Ernie was referred to Guy’s Hospital and at the end of February underwent a keyhole operation to remove the lump.  He was told by the hospital team that he would need to be as fit as possible before having the operation, in order to have the best possible recovery from it.

A keen cyclist, Ernie’s overall fitness was very good and he recovered well from the operation with a slight reduction in his lung capacity, something he only notices when out cycling. “It just takes me a little bit longer to get from A to B,” he explained, “but I consider myself very fortunate.”

Ernie’s lung cancer was picked up on a scan as part of his ongoing treatment for bowel cancer. He is now urging people who notice any change in their health that might be cancer to waste no time in getting to their GP.

He said: “The earlier the cancer is caught, the easier it will be to treat.  Please take your health seriously and get any changes checked out.

“I am testament to the great work of the NHS in looking after folks who find themselves in this position and am happy that I can carry on cycling, which will help me stay in good health for the future.”

For more information on the early signs and symptoms of a range of cancers, visit: www.speakupagainstcancer.org or for more information on AITC’s Speak Up Against Cancer campaign, email: speakup@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.