Pioneer patient to advise on care
AFORMER cancer patient who was sent to America for pioneering treatment has been chosen to help shape the future of patient care closer to home.
Twenty- five- year- old Sophie Vohra, from Macclesfield, received proton beam therapy in the USA after being diagnosed with cancer when she was just 23.
Now The Christie, a specialist cancer hospital in Manchester, has installed its own High Energy Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre, Sophie has been drafted in to share her experiences with the hospital.
Sophie started her treatment at The Christie in April 2015 after being diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer at the bottom of her spine.
Sophie, who is now studying for a PhD, said: “At the age of 23, one of the last things you expect to hear is that you have cancer. I had been suffering increasingly from bad pains and numbness down my right leg since the start of the year, which became so unbearable that I finally decided to visit my GP. Following various tests and investigations, I received my diagnosis and was referred to The Christie.”
She added: “I was very lucky to be put forward for proton beam therapy treatment in America. “This was the best option because it would cause much less damage than standard treatment would to the area surrounding my tumour.
“I can’t fault my treatment in America and the staff offered us all a lot of support but being so far away from home was isolating.
“Having all of this available to me has meant I have received all the best opportunities to try and beat this horrible disease.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to The Christie for helping make it possible. I am now disease free and able to get on with my life and complete my PhD.
“No one should ever have to go through a lifethreatening illness like cancer, but places like The Christie and the facilities they have for young patients means that we can not only get through our treatment, but can also continue to have as fulfilling and happy a time as we can.
“I’m thrilled that I can use my experience of cancer and my treatment in America to help future patients at the new PBT centre at The Christie.
“I know it will be lifechanging for future patients like me.”
The PBT centre, due to open next year, will be the first of only two centres to open in the UK.
Sophie Vohra after her treatment in 2015 and how she is today
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