A patient living with stage 4 oesophageal cancer will be reunited with the doctor who diagnosed his condition six years ago when they both take part in the epic 100m cycle ride across London and the surrounding area on Sunday 29th July 2018.
Steve Metcalfe contacted Guts UK, the charity for digestive system disorders to find out if any other members of their 20 strong Ride London Team were in in the Oxford area, he might train with. Serendipitously Dr Tony Ellis, gastroenterologist and Chair of the Oxford Gut Club is also doing Ride London – and is the very same doctor who diagnosed Steve’s cancer back in 2012.
Steve from Bicester near Oxford was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer having gone to the doctor with symptoms of a general uncomfortable stomach, lots of gas, wind and bloating. The doctor suggested referring Steve for a colonoscopy (a scope to look up the tail end). It was the chance remark that Steve said at the end of the consultation “And sometimes I have trouble swallowing a sandwich,” that made the GP also ask for a gastroscopy (a scope looking via the top end).
The gastroenterologist found oesophageal cancer that had already spread, with secondary cancer in the liver. A gruelling course of chemotherapy took its toll for the year after.
“I was physically thrashed, I couldn’t walk 100 yards. My friend Alan English, who is also riding, supported me with regular cycling to get back some fitness and has been part of my physical recovery. Meeting up with my consultant again may be a coincidence, who knows, but what a celebration we shall have,” says Steve who is keen to share his story so that others may be more aware of digestive cancers. Both doctor and patient will be riding 100 miles next Sunday to raise money for more much needed research into digestive diseases.
Julie Harrington, CEO of Guts UK. “That a survivor of oesophageal cancer is taking up this challenge is so very hopeful for everyone affected. Guts UK supports pioneering research into the area of oesophageal cancer but we need to do more to stop this particularly devastating cancer taking lives. Early diagnosis is crucial so we also need people experiencing symptoms such as persistent heartburn to seek help from their GP, please don’t wait.”
Steve Metcalfe Alan and Steve in training Dr Tony Ellis, Gastroenterologist