Mark Davies was diagnosed with a lower rectal tumour in the summer of 2003. His oncologist gave him 2 options, a permanent stoma or 12 months to live. Understandably, Mark wasn’t happy with either option. Luckily, and quite by chance, he found out a friend’s neighbour was the only oncologist in the UK doing Papillon treatment. After consulting with him, the decision was to use Papillon after first trying to shrink the tumour with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The tumour did shrink and so Papillon x-ray brachytherapy was then applied to it. This involved the delivery of high dose, low energy radiation directly to the tumour only. Microsurgery afterwards discovered that the tumour was completely eradicated and Mark has been cancer free since then.
Mark now lectures at universities, charities and hospitals across the world, delivering advice and information on subjects such as patient choice, survivorship issues and the short and long term effects of radiotherapy. He also supports various survivor groups and chaired the Late Effects of Pelvic Radiation clinical group for 2 years. You can read more about his experience in his book ‘Saving my arse: Bowel cancer: A survivor’s story’.
His lasting advice to anyone diagnosed with cancer is to give yourself time to make a decision on your treatment. Do some research into your diagnosis, sign up to blogs where patients share their experiences and join any support groups in your area.
If you are interested in further information on Papillon please visit http://contactpapillon.com/, Europe’s first patient led Papillon Radiotherapy website.