My daughter Claire was diagnosed with FIGO stage 4 cervical cancer in December 2008. The treatment pathway for my daughter was radiotherapy. This included external radiotherapy followed by the insertion of radioactive rods.
My daughter unfortunately developed radiation enteritis which I understand is common after radiotherapy. This is an ongoing condition which in time leads to severe bowel problems. Claire was referred to a consultant to take part in a clinical trial. This clinical trial was to see if following radiation treatment some patients have an overgrowth of the normal bacteria in their gut which can cause problems.
Claire was therefore prescribed antibiotics. Unfortunately, they did not help and it seems that my daughter is not one of those patients who have this problem.
When Claire was asked to go on the trial we both felt very positive as this treatment seemed to be a solution to her ongoing bowel problems. The consultant and trial nurse were very supportive and explained each step of the progress in great detail.
Although this trial did not help Claire, she has been offered other options for treatment and the offer of taking part in other trials.
Patients can always find out some of the positive and negatives before joining a trial. The support you receive before and after the trial is very comforting.