Did you know… 76% of primary bone cancer patients in the UK are initially misdiagnosed? On average, they visit a healthcare professional 7 times and almost half of all patients are waiting more than 6 months before receiving an accurate diagnosis. This was the case for Sally, pictured below...
Sally's symptoms started with a red, hot swollen knee that became increasingly painful, until she was walking with a limp. Sally was a keen dancer and the GPs put her symptoms down to a dancing injury. She was put on a course of painkillers, but they had no effect. After visiting several GPs at the same practice for about 6 months, Sally was eventually diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her knee, which sadly led to an amputation. You can read Sally's full story here.
Every 10 minutes, another child, teenager, or adult will be diagnosed with primary bone cancer, even at Christmas. Each of them facing brutal treatment and life-changing surgery, just like Sally did, and only a 50% chance of survival. Early diagnosis is so vital to improving outcomes for all patients – the sooner treatment can start, the more chance patients could have.
It's heartbreaking to think that so many patients of all ages are facing this disease, but for their diagnosis and treatment to be so delayed, potentially reducing their chances of survival, is a desperately terrifying situation that must change.
Unbelievably, medical professionals, including GPs, receive little-to-no specific training on the symptoms of primary bone cancer, despite survival rates being so low and it being one of the most brutal forms of cancer affecting all ages.
That's why this Christmas we need your help!
A donation of just £20 is enough to help us equip four more medical professionals with life-saving training and education materials, containing the tell-tail signs and symptoms of bone cancer and the steps they should take to rule out or confirm a diagnosis for patients. Just £20, really could save a life!
Set up a monthly gift
Our awareness work is so important, to so many patients. If you can, set up a monthly gift this Christmas – not only will you help enable our work now, you will be ensuring we can give hope to all future patients.
Listen to Sally on the radio
Sally presented a BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the Bone Cancer Research Trust on Sunday 12th December. You can hear Sally again on Thursday 16th December at 3:27pm. Just tune into Radio 4 on digital radio, FM Radio (FM 92-95 FM, 103-105 FM) or on channel 704 on Freeview, 0104 on SkyTV or 904 on Virgin.
You can also listen through the Radio 4 website now, by clicking below.