Patients encouraged to help in cancer fight
A GRANDFATHER undertaking cancer drug trials is encouraging others to follow suit.
Alan Comish, 76, who lives on Fitzwilliam Avenue in Sutton, is currently taking part in a trial after being diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine GP visit in September 2011.
He is now speaking out to share his experiences, backed by a new Cancer Research UK awareness campaign which highlights the power of cancer clinical trials in helping to save lives.
Cancer clinical trials show whether new tests and treatments are safe, what their side effects are and whether they are better than what is currently used.
Alan said: “I know from personal experience that clinical trials are vital, both to people like me receiving treatment now, and to future generations.”
Alan, who grew up in Alderley Edge and Prestbury, hopes the campaign will help people see trials as a normal part of cancer research and treatment.
A former lecturer in law at the University of Manchester and previously Macclesfield College, he was diagnosed after visiting his local GP surgery for a routine flu jab. He said: “I was getting up three times a night desperate to go to the toilet. There is a tendency for men who experience those symptoms to just brush it off as old age or not a big deal, but it is always worth investigating.”
After carrying out tests Alan’s GP referred him to Macclesfield General Hospital where a biopsy confirmed he had prostate cancer and his consultant at Macclesfield asked him to take part in a trial. He is now more than three years into the treatment – a six monthly injection of a hormone therapy drug.
Alan, who has been married to Margaret for 54 years and has two grown-up children, added: “I certainly feel a lot better since I have been on the trial. I would say to anyone who has been offered a place on the trial, but is nervous about the idea, that in my experience it has only been a good thing.”
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: “We hope Alan’s experience will help local people understand the benefits that cancer trials can bring to patients.”
● Alan Comish, from Sutton, is encouraging cancer patients to help● find a ure by joining him in clinical trials backed by Cancer Research c UK