Stage 4 Renal Carcinoma
Whilst the summer of 2017 was drawing to an end and we were
getting organised for the children to return back to school, Steve suddenly began to feel unwell with double vision in his right eye, followed by headaches and sickness. Which resulted a couple of weeks later Steve and I attending A&E where our lives change forever and our world fell apart. Over a weekend full of scans and tests Steve was diagnosed stage 4 Renal Cancer with no prior indication he was this seriously unwell.
Renal cancer is a silent cancer and usually is diagnosed when the clinical team are looking for something completely unrelated. Steve did not have any of the potential risk factors or any of the signs and symptoms such as blood in the urine. Hence the significant proportion of patients are diagnosed when the cancer has already metastasised (spread) to other parts of the body.
Whilst been thrown unwantedly full force onto this rollercoaster it became very evident a significant proportion of patients are diagnosed at stage 4 and often go misdiagnosed for some time, the treatment options have been limited and only recently drugs have been made available in the hope to stall the progression. Also, funding and information is unfortunately low in comparison to other cancers. Steve describes renal cancer funding as the table tennis of the Olympic games !!!
Luckily alongside our family and friends who have kept us up right and who we will always be eternally grateful, we have found two charities Kidney Cancer Support Network and Kidney Cancer UK that make it their mission to improve the lives of the patients, families and friends with renal cancer, supporting with information , awareness of clinical trials, lobbying for treatments and research to name but a few projects of their great work.
The Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) is the largest and most active patient-led charity, supporting the largest network of kidney cancer patients and carers across the UK.We strive to improve the lives of those affected by kidney cancer by advocating for the best possible clinical care and treatment, raising awareness and providing vital support and information to anyone affected by kidney cancer. The KCSN is widely recognized as the specialist charity for kidney cancer in the UK, led by patients for patients.