When Martyn Griffiths couldn’t stop coughing, he saw his GP to be on the safe side. A shadow on his liver revealed that he had primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma – HCC).
At 58-years old, Martyn was given the dire news that he would most likely only have a maximum of five years left to live unless he undertook a radical new treatment, SIRT.
This would include injecting tiny radioactive beads into the artery that supplied blood to the tumour, all through a catheter in his femoral artery. The aim was to reduce the tumour which could later be removed, while saving his healthy liver tissue.
Martyn decided after being given no option for alternative cancer treaments that he would need to accept the SIRT solution. “I said where do I sign?”, remembering the day he was diagnosed in 2014. But what Martyn didn’t know was that SIRT was yet to be made available on the NHS and was actually funded through a charity at Newcastle Freeman Hospital
I didn’t want to fade away, I wanted to fight for my family’s sake – and anyone given the option of SIRT should absolutely go ahead and do the same.
Martyn says, “I didn’t want to fade away, I wanted to fight for my family’s sake – and anyone given the option of SIRT should absolutely go ahead and do the same. That’s why I want to speak out and encourage other people to have SIRT, which is a life saving treatment that should be readily available on the NHS.”
While Martyn needed two treatments of SIRT to shrink his grapefruit sized tumour, he has now fully recovered after a major operation to remove the tumour by the skilled surgical team at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital. While he still has regular scans, for now he can mostly continue living his life as it was before the cancer diagnosis.
Although doctors have suggested he stay tee total from now on. “I do miss the social side of drinking” says Martyn. “Especially now I only have a soft drink with my Sunday pub lunch. But it’s a small price to pay for having my life given back back to me.”