If you've been affected by pancreatic cancer as a patient, survivor or carer, one of the most amazing ways you can help raise awareness and provide support to others, is by sharing your story.
Anthony Carter – 26 Year Survivor
Anthony was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after noticing that his eyes appeared to be a yellow colour in some photos of him at his mother's birthday. He later underwent a successful Whipple procedure to remove the tumour and is now a 26 year survivor.
In March 1994, Anthony had received the photos back from his Mum’s 70th Birthday when he noticed that there was something wrong, ‘they showed my eyes were all yellow and I was losing weight’.
Concerned by the colour of his eyes, Anthony decided to visit the doctors immediately, where he underwent multiple scans and blood tests to see what was causing the problem.
‘At the end of May on Sunday night during the World Cup Final the phone went. Mum said, “It’s for you”, whilst I mumbled under my breath “Who’s phoning when the footballs on!?”
“Hi, it’s Doctor Ramage here, we need you to come into hospital on Tuesday for some more tests and to have a stent put in to tackle the jaundice.”
Anthony visited the hospital to have the stent inserted. The next day Dr Ramage stopped by to let him know that it wasn’t what they had originally suspected and that he would need to have a CT scan.
The scan revealed some terrible news, that Anthony did in fact have a growth on his pancreas. Dr Ramage quickly suggested, ‘We can do a Whipple procedure here in Hastings, but I want you to go to Kings College Hospital to visit specialist Professor Benjamin who will do the operation.”.
Anthony visited Kings on the 20th August to have preliminary tests done, including an angiogram. Two days later he had his first consultation with Dr Benjamin who confirmed it was what they had suspected, and that he would undergo surgery the following day.
Three weeks after his Whipples operation Anthony returned to hospital for scans in nuclear medicine (a specialised area of radiology) to investigate the successfulness of the procedure.
Luckily for Anthony the surgery was a complete success and the tumour had been removed in its entirety, meaning that he wouldn’t need any further treatment or chemotherapy.
Looking back on his ordeal Anthony has great appreciation of just how lucky he was to survive the disease, ‘Someone was looking down on me’.