Really bad news - would going private offer more hope?

Hello 

We got the devastating and mind numbing news yesterday that the chemo wasn't working and there was nothing else they could do for my sister. She was diagnosed last August with anal cancer (after being diagnosed from 3 different doctors over the course of a month that she had piles) and was fast tracked for chemoradiotherapy as the cancer had spread to her adrenal gland and also to lymph. The treatment was going well and the tumours shrank. The next step was for an op but the surgeon then said this wouldn't be possible as the cyst with the cancer in her pelvis was in too much of a difficult place to carry out. Her oncologist decided on another round of chemo (a different one than previously) in order to control the cancer instead. She then developed a swollen leg so had a scan. We went in yesterday for the results to be told that the cancer in the cyst had grown and the chemo wasn't working and that there was nothing else to be done. He did talk about clinical trials and is looking at these options for us. We trust her oncologist 100% and he is extremely highly regarded but I was just wondering that if we went private would more options would be available which aren't on the NHS? Sorry if this is a stupid question, the NHS have been absolutely amazing, I'm just so desperate. Thank-you.

  • Hi and welcome to the online community

    I'm very sorry to read that your sister's chemo is not working. It must have been devastating news for you all.

    I don't know whether there are different treatments available to private patients so could I recommend that you join and post your question in the anal cancer group as this will give you the opportunity to talk directly with people who have this type of cancer.

    To join just click on the link I've created and then choose 'join this group' on the page that opens. You can then introduce yourself and post questions after selecting 'start a discussion' and join in with existing conversations by clicking on 'reply'.

    When you feel up to it, it would be really useful if you could pop something about your sister's journey so far into your profile as it really helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.

    Sending a supportive ((hug))

  • Hi ,

    I’m so sorry for your sisters news, it must be a very worrying time for you all right now, not least with the whole COVID-19 thing affecting the hospitals the way it has! I’m over on the anal cancer forum, come join us over there & we can see if we can put your question out there. A few of us are involved in clinical trials but through the NHS & this was our primary treatment (chemoradiotherapy). Come join us we’re a friendly supportive bunch. 

    I think it’s just as difficult, if not more so, for close family & friends to deal with a loved ones cancer diagnosis as it is for the person that has cancer so make sure you’re getting plenty of support also. We also have Family and friends forum which you may find useful for some support for yourself throughout this time. 

    Nicola