The Throat Cancer Foundation is appealing to friends and supporters to consider registering for one of the four 2020 Kiltwalk events across Scotland and help our work supporting people and their families living with this terrible illness; campaigning for a gold standard of care; and funding for vital research towards a world where throat cancer treatment could be far less gruelling and life-altering.
Throat Cancer is often described as an Orphan Cancer and is classified by Cancer Research UK as one of four hard to treat cancers.
What does that mean?
In the short, it means that there is less awareness of it compared to that of other high-profile cancers.
An ‘Orphan Cancer’ like throat cancer shows us the stark reality of the lack of investment that exists to ensure that we see better survival rates for people with these ‘hard to treat’ cancers.
TCF chief executive Jamie Rae, a fellow throat cancer survivor, says: “The annual Kiltwalk has grown to become one of the Scotland’s most high-profile charity events attracting ever higher numbers of entrants.
“Unfortunately throat cancers are still often seen as an ‘orphan’ cancer, with little awareness surrounding the devastating aftermath of treatment, and this is something we feel strongly about changing.
“We would like to encourage teams and individuals to consider registering for next year’s Kiltwalk event to help raise funds for our charity and make life more bearable for throat cancer survivors and their loved ones.”
The lab work and clinical trials needed to advance treatments to get these better rates of survival are just not happening, due to a lack of funding.
In the UK, advancement in techniques for conditions like breast cancer have seen survival rates of 85% or more for woman living beyond FIVE years after their diagnosis.
Sadly, the same cannot be said for a throat cancer diagnosis with rates as low at 28% survival for adults living beyond five years after their diagnosis.
Throat Cancer Foundation fundraiser Laura Knott, from Bromley, London, has been raising funds for our charity after her mum, Kate Doyle, tragically died from complications of the illness in February this year.
Distraught Laura has bravely spoken out about her mother’s battle with depression after a throat cancer diagnosis to raise awareness of just how devastating the side effects can be following treatment.
“It was the effects of the radiotherapy that killed her in the end, not really the cancer,” Laura said.
“Once she lost the ability to swallow and that the peg went in, that’s when she started going downhill.
“There’s hundreds of types of cancers that people just don’t think about – a lot of the times we just think of the main ones like breast cancer.
“I hadn’t realised until after mum had cancer just how bad the side effects can be even after the treatment.”
We need to see a change to the aftermath of throat cancer treatments, and that’s why we continue to do our bit to support, advise, inform and give relief to those who are affected by this terrible disease. But we continually need your help to do that.
University lecturer Greg Philo, 72, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with throat cancer just six months before his daughter Sarah May Philo, 36 discovered she had a brain tumour.
Brave Sarah May, a stand-up comedian from Dennistoun, hit the headlines after she stunned medics by belting out opera favourite Ave Maria while she underwent surgery in a bid to lighten the situation.
Greg, who teaches journalism and media at Glasgow University, said: “I got throat cancer and went through the whole process of it.
“It was around six before after my daughter Sarah May found out she had a brain tumour, which was obviously a really horrible time.
“My throat cancer was caused by HPV, which I had only known about in relation to cervical cancer before that.
“I’d never been ill and I don’t smoke or drink. It was a real shock.”
By registering for the Kiltwalk 2020 and raising funds towards out charity, you can help improve survival rates and quality of life for sufferers and their families.
The Kiltwalk is the lowest cost platform to raise funds for a charity cause that is close to your heart. You can raise funds for the Throat Cancer Foundation and 140 per cent of what you raise will go where it is needed most.
Visit https://www.thekiltwalk.co.uk/ to register and choose the Throat Cancer Foundation.