A Son's Wish: Early Detection
Friday 18th March 2016
I’m Kyriacos. I come from the beautiful island of Cyprus which, almost 18 years ago, I left in order to travel to Ireland and to study medicine at RCSI. My father, my idol, was a doctor. I knew from a young age that I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and begin a career in medicine. After completing my medical degree, I moved to the UK to start my training. From Glasgow to London, my medical career has been colourful and challenging.
In 2010, I got married to the love of my life (right) just before starting my Msc in Preventive Cardiology. Subsequently, I have pursued further research in cardiology at Imperial College London where I’m currently studying for my thesis.
I first heard about Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation through my patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer - they all spoke very highly of the organisation. They recommended the services and support that the foundation offers to both patients and relatives.
Having seen many patients suffer with lung cancer, I was aware of its prognosis and the difficulties patients faced. It’s an experience that I would wish upon no-one. Unfortunately the person that I love so dearly, my mother, was diagnosed with this dreadful disease. Seeing her endure the suffering, agony and stress that I had seen so many times before with my patients broke my heart and made me realise how unfair life can be sometimes. As she is a non-smoker with a healthy life style, the diagnosis came as a real shock. According to the latest UK statistics and WHO criteria, lung cancer is the most common type of cancer with a fatal prognosis. Having to see my mother, the light of my life, go through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery was really difficult. But - through the power of will and prayers - my mother is in remission and enjoys every single moment that life has to offer.
Going forward, I would like to see the introduction of an effective screening process for early detection of lung cancer. Catching the disease at its early stages can dramatically alter the final outcome - early detection saves lives. Also, having more effective treatments that would be able to shrink or even remove tumours would be a huge breakthrough. I’m hoping to see these changes happen in the very near future.
To current lung cancer patients and their families, I would say this: no matter how frustrated or upset you may be after hearing the bad news, please don’t lose hope. Stay strong. Psychological factors play a huge part in enhancing any type of treatment that you may undergo. Love everybody and help everybody. Share the love; hope dies last.
Kyriacos will be cycling from London to Paris between the 2nd and 5th of June to raise money for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Read more here on his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/kyriacos