Below he tells his story.
Prior to my chondrosarcoma diagnosis, I was fit and active and was working as an operational police officer. My only symptoms were a slight bump on my right tibia (lower leg), which I could feel when running my hand over my leg, and the occasional slight throbbing pain in the same region. I was experiencing this pain for about 12 months before being diagnosed.
I thought I had something under my skin, and after being encouraged by my wife, I took a photo of my leg and sent it to my GP. I was unable to see the GP in person due to COVID restrictions in place at that time.
I was very lucky in that the GP referred me straight away for an ultrasound at Aintree University Hospital, my local hospital. There I saw a radiologist who sent me for an X-ray, an MRI and CT scans.
When my GP received the X-ray and scan results, he phoned me to tell me I had suspected chondrosarcoma. He advised I did not search the internet and instead gave me the website address for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and told me to look there for accurate and trustworthy information.
I was referred on to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry (RJAH) and within two weeks I was at the RJAH having more scans and an appointment with my consultant, Miss Gillian Cribb. I was brought back to the hospital as a day patients for a biopsy and received the biopsy results about two weeks later, when I was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma.
In March 2021 I underwent a proximal tibial replacement with a new knee joint, being able to keep a bone block and my knee cap. Fortunately, the tumour had not extended beyond my bone into the surrounding tissue.
I was in hospital for three weeks post-surgery and came back to RJAH on two separate occasions for intensive in-patient physiotherapy. By the time I had finished the physiotherapy, I was walking using one crutch only. Now, a year and a few months after surgery, I am walking with a slight limp and I'm back cycling, an activity I enjoyed before my diagnosis and surgery.
I have been given the all clear and I'm currently on three monthly check-ups at RJAH, and I am recovering albeit with reduced mobility.
My message to others is that there is life after diagnosis.
My surgeon Miss Gillian Cribb, my physiotherapist Danielle Birch and the staff at RJAH have been fantastic and I have had wonderful support from my family, friends and the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Awareness of primary bone cancer is absolutely crucial. Before being diagnosed I had never heard of primary bone cancer or chondrosarcoma. I was extremely fortunate to have an early diagnosis, which was key to my positive outcome.
Watch the video below to hear Stephen tell his story.