June charity news – The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity
“New research can help save more lives”
Roz Tranfield, 58, from Merseyside, reveals why The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity is so important
Beauty salon owner and former beauty queen Roz Tranfield is used to taking care of her appearance. However, when she made the decision to dye her hair a vibrant pink in 2014, it was about more than looking good. “I wanted to face what was ahead of me feeling positive while also helping to raise money for the fantastic hospital trying to save my life,” she says.
Roz, 58, first became concerned in September 2014, when she noticed a crusting of the skin on her nipple. “I made an appointment with a female GP, who told me it was most likely a blocked duct. I still felt slightly uneasy but tried to put it to the back of my mind.”
But five weeks later Roz’s worries resurfaced again. “I was undressing and about to get in the bath when I noticed there was blood inside my bra. I was instantly filled with fear as I knew this could be a symptom of breast cancer.”
Roz phoned her GP, who got in touch with The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. “I saw a specialist who performed a mammogram. He examined both of my breasts then returned to the first one,which was when I knew something was wrong.” Roz was given an ultrasound then called in to speak with a surgeon. “He explained he could see small calcium spots in my breast tissue – which can sometimes suggest early breast cancer. He told me they needed to do a breast core biopsy – where a needle is inserted to remove samples of tissue for inspection – which I had three weeks later. I then had to wait another three weeks for the results.”
Roz returned to see the surgeon and a specialist nurse, who explained she had a high-grade ductal carcinoma (DCIS) in one of her breasts, which is an early stage, fast-growing type of cancer.
The surgeon explained Roz was fortunate the cancer had been caught early, but she would need surgery.
Following a full mastectomy and reconstruction, Roz had six months of chemotherapy. “I arrived at the centre with bright pink hair, which I had decided to dye the day before – along with my supportive boyfriend Patrick – to raise money for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.”
In June 2015, a month after completing chemotherapy, Roz started having Herceptin (trastuzumab) injections, which are used to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. “I had the injections for six months, then started on a trial where I will be monitored by an oncologist, Dr Malik, twice a year for the next ten years.”
The aim of the trial is to discover whether women with early breast cancer can receive Herceptin injections for six months instead of 12 – the length of time it is usually given – to reduce side effects such as heart and joint problems. “The Herceptin was hard on my joints, so a year of treatment would have been tough,” says Roz.
Since raising nearly £35,000 by going pink, Roz has held fundraising afternoon teas and is hosting a huge pink fashion show featuring women who have or have had cancer, which takes place in Wirral this year, and is taking part in a 100k night bike ride in July.
“Now I’m hopefully on the road to recovery, I am putting all my energy into helping to raise money for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity to give cancer patients the best outcome possible. Funding these important clinical trials into new treatments is the only way we’re ever going to beat cancer.”
The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity – THE FACTS
- The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for patients and research at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
- Clatterbridge treats over 30,000 patients a year from across Merseyside, Cheshire, the Isle of Man and parts of Lancashire.
- The charity improves patients’ experience and funds vital research, the latest equipment, therapies and innovations in cancer treatment.
- The New Cancer Hospital Appeal is raising £15m towards a brand new specialist cancer hospital, which is being built in the centre of Liverpool.
BIG GIVE UPDATE
The £21,023 raised will go towards two clinical research chemotherapy treatment chairs for a new comprehensive specialist hospital being built in Liverpool, which will enable them to pioneer new forms of chemotherapy and advanced treatments.
As told to Hannah McLoughlin. Photo: Colin McPherson