A MIDDLETON man who underwent surgery for throat cancer is helping others with the disease.
David Chuter, 60, is chairman of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Cancer Partnership Research Group.
It meets every two months to discuss and review cancer research projects, looking at them from a patient’s perspective, ensuring information provided for patients about research and clinical trials is easily understood and accessible.
“Life feels good now. I’m not completely back to normal but I’m getting close to it,” he said.
“I’m still getting great tips for day-to-day life on how to cope well with my condition.”
The group also offers insightinto current medical trials, different therapeutic techniques and how these are beneficial for oesophageal cancer patients.
New patients go along – between 20 and 40 at every meeting –and carers and health professionals including dieticians, consultants and research specialists also attend.
As well as chairing the group, David organises meetings, training days, events and presentations delivered by the health professionals about alternative therapies and raising awareness of innovations and achievements.
David received advice on eating better and the after effects of gastric surgery.
“It helps me and other patients to have a much better life,” he said.
“I would always encourage other people to get involved in research, whether as a patient on a trial or helping others by learning more about your condition as part of a patient group like me.”
“It’s really important to understand about what it’s like to live with oesophageal cancer, what clinical trials are happening and how to get involved in research activity.”
David is also involved in several other groups linked to oesophageal cancer, as well as being a patient governor of Royal Surrey County Hospital. It was at the Guildford hospital that surgeons removed his entire oesophagus and three quarters of his stomach in 2006.
He found it difficult to understand his condition before being introduced by a nurse to the group.
Simon Denegri, chairman of INVOLVE – a group encouraging greater patient involvement in public health – praised David and said he hoped he would inspire others.