A 42-year old man from Gloucester, England mistook his deafness as cold for two years, which turned out to be a cancerous tumor behind his nose pushing into his skull. Ben Wilkinson, a family man recently came to know about his horrifying condition which has been lying dormant for years. A recommendation for an MRI scan and basic free hearing test options from Mr. Wilkinson’s general physician revealed the underlying tumor that has reached a mature stage.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In September 2017, the reports came in and it described at 4 cm tumor behind his nose that is growing and needed urgent medical attention. He was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma which is a rare type of cancer. In May 2018, Ben Wilkinson went through a highly intricate and complicated 2-hour surgery that removed the tumor which did not clearly solve the problem. Due to its proximity to sensitive nerves, a portion of the tumor couldn’t be removed.
Radiotherapy was recommended to reduce further growth of the cancer cells that have an abnormally high growth rate. The possible side-effects of the treatment are extreme as it could permanently cause deafness and even blindness which could have a detrimental effect on the mental state of the patient.
Reaction to Cancer Report
Ben broke down at the news of Cancer last year, especially because the type was rare and critical. He understands everything that is going on with him and the last few months was quite a struggle. His motivation and will to live is currently peaking. He wants to live for his three daughters and watch them grow up.
He revealed that after the removal of the tumor, he recovered 85% of his hearing which has boosted his morale that will be essential to make it through the journey.
The Deadly Adenocarcinoma
A very rare type of cancer with a high mortality rate that targets glands that secrete mucus throughout the body. It can remain dormant for months and it is normally too late by the type symptoms show up. Out of every 100 people suffering from nasal cancer, only one of them contracts Adenocarcinoma. Depending on the severity, doctors can recommend surgery, radiation or both.
The current State of Affairs
With radiation involving major risks, reputed oncologists believe that proton beam therapy is the best option Ben has. The treatment has less collateral damage and is used to reduce tumors in delicate areas due to its precise and restricted targeting, unlike radiation. Doctors also warned that there is a 50-50 chance of the tumor growing back if left untreated.
In August 2018, Ben appealed to the NHS for approval of his proton therapy application that would secure the funding required for the treatment. NHS added more burden to his hardships, as they rejected the application even though the doctors have mentioned that he passes all the criteria required for the treatment. Since the rejection, Ben has repeatedly tried to contact the NHS via email and phone calls that were all in vain.
Currently, the couple has their hopes set on fundraising and aim to raise as much as £70,000 for 38 cycles of proton beam therapy in Prague, Czech Republic. To date, they have raised £8,000 and have a long way to go. If the fundraiser for proton therapy treatment is not a success, Ben will undergo radiation therapy which poses serious risks that can be permanent if unlucky.