Jane Mallan’s Story

In December 2023, just before Christmas, I had what I thought was the start of a simple sore throat and with it being winter, assumed it was just the seasonal throat thing.  However, when it hadn’t improved by January, I made an appointment with my doctor.  The doctor took a look and diagnosed a viral infection, gave me some antibiotics and told me to come back if there was no change.

Well, two different types of antibiotics later, there was no change, my throat was still sore.  So, I was given an urgent referral for the local hospital in Peterborough’s ‘Ear, Nose & Throat’ department to rule out a ‘quincy’, which is a form of abscess.

Numerous investigations later which included needles down my throat, cameras up my nose and various other forms of torture, they discovered a swelling on my tonsil.  I was then referred to have a tonsillectomy, surgery to remove the tonsils as well as a biopsy to establish what was going on.

Two weeks later on a checkup appointment after the operation I was shocked to be told that after the biopsy my diagnosis was that I actually had a throat cancer.   I was scared, terrified of what was to come and of course, filled with fear for the worst possible outcome.

Jane and Terry

My oncologist then booked me in for 6 weeks radiotherapy treatment at Addenbrookes hospital.  This comprised of 30 treatments over the 6 weeks, and with my wonderful supportive husband Terry driving me to them on the 80-mile round trip, every single day.  The travelling alone was brutal enough, let alone the treatment itself.

It was during this time, frightened and afraid, I made an appointment with the Macmillan Cancer Care team to talk about how scared I was and what my long term options were.  They suggested talking to specialists in this type of cancer and gave me the details for the Throat Cancer Foundation (TCF).

Since my introduction to TCF, they have been nothing but supportive, friendly, caring, understanding and reassuring.  They contact me every day to see how I’m feeling and that’s even after the radiotherapy has ended.  They are a fantastic charity, and nothing is too much trouble.  Anytime you need to talk, they’re available, day or night.  I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.  Jamie, the founder of TCF has gone through the throat cancer journey himself so obviously has firsthand knowledge of how gruelling and brutal it is.  Gordon has been there offering support and sorting out any issues I or Terry may have about my treatment.  I am proud to now call them both my friends and my intention is to go and meet them both to thank them personally when I’m up to it.

I am also honoured to have been asked to become an Ambassador for them in the future as I’ve been there, done it and got the T-Shirt and I want to help others suffering in the same way.

I’m not going to go into the gory details of what I’ve gone through and am still having to endure.  But what I will say is, the treatment is brutal, but it needs to be to combat the cancer.   I was warned that even after the treatment, the effects will impact me for several weeks after.  I can personally testify that this is the case, but I understand it’s the radiotherapy that is fighting off the cancer, so know it’s doing its job.

Just because the radiotherapy treatment is finished, doesn’t mean that’s the end of it.  I have months yet to find out whether the treatment has been successful so living with that constant fear has had a dramatic effect on me and my family.  This is a journey that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and I cannot underestimate that in any way.

What is even more worrying is the lack of education out there about throat cancers, there are several different types and even now, I’m not entirely sure what mine is.  When I tell people about my condition, some look at me like I’ve got a simple cold.  If only!  TCF work very hard to raise awareness of this horrible disease (which trust me, it is!) and are investing heavily on research to try to make this journey an easier one for people going through it in the future.

I now have months of recovery to endure, with the help of my wonderful husband Terry, TCF (Jamie and Gordon) and my fantastic family and friends, all of which have shown me nothing but love, encouragement and support.  I couldn’t have done it without them.

One of the most important things to come out of this journey is to listen to your own body. No one knows your body like you do. The treatment of throat cancer is much more successful if caught and treated early. I just thank god I persisted with the medicals when I had that ‘sore throat’ last year.

As part of this recovery, I want to raise as much money as I can to help TCF carry out the vital work they do.  It’s not just the scientific research they invest in, it’s the support they give people like me, and their loved one, it’s the awareness campaigns they are creating to save more lives and it’s the working together with medical professionals to get improved treatment processes and   better survival rates.  Thank you to those that have already donated but I need more.  You know me, I’m never satisfied!  Will you help me?  Please?

I’ve set up a JustGiving page and I would be absolutely over the moon if we could raise some more funds for them.  They get no government support and rely totally on donations and anything you could give will be so appreciated.  I can guarantee all donations will go directly to this wonderful charity and with your kindness, we can help others going through this now and in the future.  It’s been an awful ordeal and anything I can personally do to ease this for others would make me very happy, so they don’t have to go through the same as I have.

Please, please, please, give to the link below now…



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The Throat Cancer Foundation is a registered charity, and as such, your help is vital to us. Your support and generosity will enable us to reach out to all those touched by throat cancers and enable us to be a Voice for Hope.
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