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Tag Archives: cancer

Warning over cancer ‘pandemic’ if vital services are curtailed

THE government is being warned that more people will die from delayed and missed cancer diagnoses, than from Covid-19, unless funding for oncology treatment and screening is properly supported over the course of the pandemic. Medical card campaigner John Wall, who himself has Stage IV cancer, was reacting to a briefing from The Department of Health outlining reduced services, as well as major increase in waiting lists. “Obviously, the pandemic is absolutely catastrophic,” he said. “But, the fact is that more people are dying every day of the week from cancer than from Covid-19. Covid cases must be dealt with in conjunction with oncology services. There is no doubt but that those delivering health services are doing their very best, but the reality is that people are already going undiagnosed and cancers are being missed, and that before you factor in the impact of Covid-19. I see, every day, the issues that people are having when they don’t get a …

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€150,000 price tag for Quin woman’s vital cancer treatment

A QUIN woman, with an aggressive form of cancer, has hit out at the fact that so many sick people have to fight to access life-saving treatments. Maria Meade’s oncologist has recommended a break-through drug, but currently her health insurer doesn’t automatically cover the cost for patients at her stage of illness. A year-long course of Pembrolizamub, an immunotherapy treatment, will cost at least €150,000, a price tag which Fianna Fáil Deputy Cathal Crowe compared, in the Dáil, to paying a second mortgage. Maria and her husband Tom describe themselves as “very private people”. Speaking publicly on sensitive health issues is the last thing they would ordinarily do, but the couple said they have been left with no choice. After some physically gruelling surgery, carried out in the depths of the lockdown, Maria is cancer free. Her oncologist has told her that her best chance of staying that way is to start a course of the break-through drug, also known …

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Shannon mother’s anger over chemo delay and Taoiseach’s comments

“THE comment where he said that it is winter and there is an increase in viruses, that children that are having chemotherapy shouldn’t come to hospital. Where does he propose we go?” Shannon’s Agnes O’Shaughnessy has a lot to be angry about this week. Bad enough that her 10-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, bad enough that he had to get some of his treatment abroad, bad enough that he was hit by an 11-day delay for his last round of chemotherapy at the National Children’s Hospital, without the Taoiseach making such comments. Make no mistake, insult has been added to injury. She says the other parents of children suffering with cancer are also unhappy. “We have a closed Facebook group and all the other parents are confused about that comment. Where does he propose we go? We can’t not have chemotherapy from November to April. The new children’s hospital won’t be available for three years. Alex …

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Brave Father’s Memory Lives On

WHEN Caroline Lynch from Quin married lively Dubliner Chris Byrne on June 28, 2013, building a dream home in the Banner County was always part of their plan. The Ringsend native was “larger than life”, says Caroline, and made a big impression on her native village. He found common ground with everyone he met and always had a friendly word. When we’d go out to the pub in Quin, everyone was like: ‘There’s Chris,’ whereas they hardly noticed me and I’m the native!” she smiles. While this year, Caroline is fulfilling the dream of raising her family in Clare, she’ll be doing it without her soul-mate, after losing Chris to an aggressive form of brain cancer in the Spring of 2016. Now, her rocks of support are her parents Ann and Des, her five-year-old son Harry, and a wide circle of relatives and friends. But she admits that the void left by Chris’s death has left her feeling “robbed” of …

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Gut Instinct Leads to Alex’s Quick Diagnosis

THERE is nothing stronger than the paternal bond and when a child is sick there is an inherent instinct as a parent to do whatever it takes to fight for them. That was never more true for the O’Shaughnessy family in Shannon because it was the most subtle of behavioural and physical changes that led them to Accident and Emergency with their 10 year old son Alex. Their gut instincts told them something just wasn’t right and their persistence to get to the root of it led to the diagnosis of a rare form of cancer, a one in a million case, normally only detected when the condition is at an advanced stage. “The first time we were worried was Paddy’s Weekend [2019]. We went away to Galway for Alex’s twin brothers 21st. Alex wasn’t himself and was tired. He was just misery, we could see he was trying but he physically couldn’t. We took him to Shannondoc the Tuesday …

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HPV campaigner Laura Brennan dies

HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan has lost her battle with terminal cancer on Wednesday. The Ennis woman who had become one of Ireland’s leading patient advocates and campaigners for the HPV vaccine passed away on Wednesday at University Hospital Limerick. In a statement the Brennan family said, “Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her. “We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today. Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer. She wanted to make a difference, and use the time that she had to right what she felt was a great wrong.” The family have appealed for privacy. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised. …

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Ciara Relays Her Survival Story

Clare’s first Relay For Life, in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, took place in Tim Smythe Park over 24 hours from 2pm last Saturday. It was an event for the whole community to remember those lost, to support those who continue their fight, and to celebrate survivors. In an interview with The Clare Champion Lissycasey woman Ciara Lynch speaks about her cancer journey having just graduated when she was diagnosed with oral cancer.  “THERE is something powerful about walking in silence and in solidarity”, cancer survivor Ciara Lynch said, after participating in Clare’s first Relay For Life in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. The soon to be 30-year-old said the event was an emotional but inspirational one. Ciara, a national school teacher who survived oral cancer in her early 20s, is the new chairperson of Ennis Musical Society and was joined by society members who held a strong presence on the Fair Green for the 24 hours. “It was a great …

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

29% Drop in Uptake of HPV vaccine in Clare

There has been a 29% drop in the uptake of the free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme for girls in County Clare since it commenced in 2010, according to figures released by the HSE. Provisional figures show that the uptake of the vaccine in the county is 10% above the national average at just slightly below 60%, but this has fallen from 89% since the vaccine programme was first introduced. This reduction is something that has not been helped by the comments made by, and later retracted, by Bishop of Waterford Alphonsus Cullinan, who is originally from Lahinch, according to a HSE spokesperson. Bishop Cullinan was quoted in the media last week suggesting that the vaccine would encourage promiscuity. In an interview with WLR (Waterford Local Radio), he preached abstinence, stating the vaccine was “lulling teenage girls into a false sense of security”. “We have to do better than giving our boys condoms and our girls injections,” he said. …

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