Mansfield mum in 'go and get checked' plea after winning cancer battle

A woman from Mansfield is appealing to others not to ignore symptoms after finally getting the all-clear from a rare cancer this week.

By Katrina Taylor
Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 12:30 pm

Claire Rigby first found a lump in her bottom during Christmas of 2019, but admits she felt embarrassed by its location and put off seeking treatment.

Eventually, in April 2020 she began to experience bleeding and realised she needed to seek professional help

She was diagnosed with anal cancer in May, and began aggressive treatment a few weeks later.

Claire ringing her final treatment bell - she has now been given the all-clear.

Thankfully, she received the fantastic news this week that the treatment had been successful.

Claire, 41, said: “I’d always been fit and healthy, so when I first felt the lump I just assumed it was something less serious.

"I left it for months, embarrassed, until I started bleeding – I knew then I needed to get checked.”

Claire was diagnosed with stage three anal cancer because it had spread to her lymph nodes.

Claire with her three-year-old daughter Ellie.

She underwent a six week course of aggressive chemoradiation at Nottingham City Hospital, which also resulted in her contracting sepsis and C.diff and spending several weeks in hospital.

Claire is now cancer free, and wants to warn others worried about lumps to seek medical advice.

She said: “It’s a really aggressive cancer so I dread to think what would have happened if I’d left it a few weeks longer.

"I started juicing and enlisted the help of Kelly Hopley, a nutritionist, and asked at The Health Shop in Mansfield Woodhouse who advised me on lots of supplements I could take.

"The treatment was awful and left me with horrendous burns, but the staff at City Hospital were incredible and the outcome could have been so much worse.

"I can now enjoy Christmas with my family – I feel like the luckiest woman in the world, so people need to just bite the bullet and see their doctor.

"It doesn’t matter how embarrassed you feel, it’s a matter of life and death, so please; go and get checked.”

The symptoms of anal cancer are often similar to less serious conditions affecting the anus, such as piles and small tears or sores called anal fissures.

Symptoms can include rectal bleeding, itching and pain, small lumps and mucus discharge – but some do not have any symptoms at all.

For more information, check out the NHS website.

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