‘I was diagnosed with inoperable cancer…four years later I’m in remission

Olivia Williams discusses ‘bizarre’ symptom of pancreatic cancer

In March 2019, Charles Czajkowski was told to get his affairs in order and to say goodbye to his wife and family.

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in around 10,500 people each year in the UK, with only five percent surviving the cancer for five years or more.

The disease may fly under the radar for many years as symptoms of the tumour can be hard to spot.

“I really thought my time was up,” Charles confessed. “But, thankfully, it was suggested I may be suitable for radiotherapy treatment at GenesisCare in Oxford on the MRIdian MR linac.”

Dr James Good, Clinical Director for Stereotactic Radiotherapy at GenesisCare, spoke about the advances in technology.

READ MORE… How long have you got? – What not to say to a cancer patient

Dr Good said: “Technological advances in radiotherapy have made it possible to tackle previously hard-to-treat cancers.

“Charles was referred to me for this specialist treatment three years ago when his cancer had been found to have spread to a lymph node.

“His local oncologist felt he couldn’t be safely treated on a standard radiotherapy machine.”

Charles beamed: “This technology was able to do what no other treatment could, and I’ve been given more time than I ever imagined possible to do all the things I want to do.”

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Now, four years later after his death sentence, Charles is still in remission.

Charles, 64, said: “I’m living proof there’s hope for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that inoperable doesn’t mean untreatable.

“Advances in cancer treatments and technology can help you live for longer and with a good quality of life.”

If you notice any signs of cancer, it’s in your best interest to book a doctor’s appointment.

Should cancer be detected, earlier diagnosis helps to improve the likelihood of survival.

Charles added: “I hope my story encourages people to turn their fears into knowledge and live life to the full.”

As pointed out by the NHS, symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include:

  • The whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow (jaundice), and you may also have Itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual
  • Loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
  • Feeling tired or having no energy
  • A high temperature, or feeling hot or shivery.

Further symptoms could include:

  • Feeling or being sick
  • Diarrhoea or constipation, or other changes in your poo
  • Pain at the top part of your tummy and your back, which may feel worse when you’re eating or lying down and better when you lean forward
  • Symptoms of indigestion, such as feeling bloated.

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