Roger Wilson was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma in 1999. Roger has had ten operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These have included a lower leg amputation in 2007 and two thoracic metastectomy operations in mid-2013. Three years after his diagnosis, Roger started work on what has become Sarcoma UK. Initially, it acted as a hub of information but with an increasing number of patients and carers becoming involved, it grew to provide a wider range of services. His experience as a cancer survivor is a significant testimonial to define the challenges faced by cancer survivors.
“Being a cancer survivor can feel lonely. As far as everyone else is concerned you look normal (except in my case, because I have had an amputation) but you have this experience behind you which is hard to forget and can shape the way you react to situations. Possibly the biggest challenge is psychological.” said Roger.
Over the past several decades, tremendous progress has been achieved on the survival of cancer patients thanks to successful clinical research and innovative drugs. Today, a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. “However, we lack research into survivorship,” said Roger “and what there has been is very fragmented, so having a strategically driven event such as EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit which allows people to come together to consider how we set research agendas in survivorship is badly needed.”
Willing to answer this issue, the EORTC created the Survivorship Summit to bring together multidisciplinary experts that will address physical and psychological issues but also the societal issues so the survivors can get back to normal life, which includes obtaining financial services and health insurances.
“As someone who was treated on an EORTC clinical trial in 2000 (EORTC 62971) I have always been aware of the organisation and of the breadth of its work. As a rare cancer patient working nationally in research I have also been aware how EORTC has supported research into my particular tumour type,” said Roger Wilson. “More recently I have been involved in work on quality-of-life and here EORTC has been a leader internationally. So I applaud EORTC, I enjoy working with its team of many talents.”
Roger Wilson is the Chair of the Physical issues session, where he will talk about the patient’s perspective, during in the 3rd EORTC Survivorship Summit which will take place in Brussels Belgium, 1- 2 March 2018.