"My husband's cancer treatment"

About: Warwick Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

After a delayed diagnosis of bowel cancer (told symptoms were constipation) he underwent oral chemo and radiotherapy which made the tumour disappear.

He was then told he needed to undergo surgical removal of shrunken tumour. We saw there was a trial called 'Wait & Watch' and he fitted the criteria, the surgeon said he would refer him. The senior colorectal nurse told him if he waited to be accepted onto trial or changed his mind he would face a wait for surgery (scary).

My husband told them he would rather die than end up with a permanent colostomy to which the surgeon reassured him that he could operate using keyhole surgery and gave him a 98% chance of not being left with a colostomy. My husband asked the surgeon if he'd read his case notes, the surgeon said no then reduced the chance to 92%. My husband on the morning of his surgery told the surgeon that rather than ending up with a colostomy he would prefer the surgeon to cut him open to do the op because he'd said it might be tricky to reattach his bowel due to the keyhole and the size of the staple gun he'd be using. If the surgeon had had any doubt my husband would not have undergone the planned technique, the surgeon again reassured him. He woke up with a permanent colostomy.

The trial for those with the courage to go on it is doing very well. The surgeon gave him a permanent stoma which began to spiral out of his body so that his bowel protruded from his stomach by 12 inches, it was eventually repaired by a different surgeon but he has recurring sepsis and has been on many courses of antibiotics. He has to have a prescription for antibiotics ready for when it happens. It has hospitalised him 3 times.

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Response from Mary Calcutt, Communications Officer, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

I am very sorry to hear about your husband’s experience. We would like the opportunity to thoroughly investigate what happened. In order to do this though we will require further details, therefore please could you contact our patient experience team on 01926 600 054.

Kind Regards,

Helen Lancaster, Director of Nursing

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