Michael on coping with the late effects of cancer

Michael was diagnosed with malignant teratoma 30 years ago, and lives the after effects of cancer treatment. He now works with the Macmillan Cancer Partnership in Nottinghamshire to help others get the support they need.

‘I was first diagnosed with teratoma, a type of cancer which develops in the foetus, more than 30 years ago when I was a student at university. Due to the late diagnosis, surgery wasn’t an option, so I underwent a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

‘Despite a poor prognosis, the treatment was successful, but I was left with long-term damage as a result of the treatment, including mobility issues and stomach problems. A secondary cancer has now been detected in my remaining kidney.

‘I never had a care plan. It was probably too scary to consider a care plan at the time, when we thought I only had two or three years left. I did get through it, which I’m very grateful for, but I had no idea what I’d have to deal with afterwards.

'When treatment ends, you’re on your own. If the GPs who looked after me had made me aware of the long-term effects, I would have been ready, instead of everything coming so unexpectedly.

Michael is now working with the Macmillan Cancer Partnership in Nottinghamshire to help shape future cancer services, so that others coping with the long-term effects of cancer are fully supported during and after their treatment.

One scheme set up by the partnership is the Macmillan Radiotherapy Late Effects Project at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

‘Having this type of support would have made a big difference to me. There are even more people now living with the late effects of treatment. The success of cancer treatment depends on helping them with the long-term consequences.’

Having this type of support would have made a big difference to me.

Michael, diagnosed with malignant teratoma