Milton Keynes man left waiting years for cancer treatment

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A Milton Keynes man is taking a starring role in a national blood cancer campaign highlighting issues faced by patients who are “watching and waiting” for treatment.

Marc Auckland, 61, is working with national blood cancer charity Leukaemia Care. Their campaign ‘Watch Wait Worry’ is focussing on patients who have been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Watch and Wait is a process of regularly monitoring the progression of CLL and only initiating treatment once intervention is required. This can be after many years, due to the slowly progressing nature of the cancer.

In the meantime patients can live a good quality lifestyle without facing the side-effects of intensive treatments.

Marc was diagnosed in 2015 after an annual well-man check up with his GP revealed unusual blood counts.

“My GP finally referred me to the local oncologist. The ’C’ word immediately unnerved me, and I started to Google info on CLL.”

Three years on, Marc’s disease is progressing slowly and he has still not needed treatment.He has to avoid infection where possible and he tires more easily. But he still leads a busy and full life. He tries to avoid people who are ill and carries a bottle of anti-bacterial gel wherever he goes.

CLL mostly affects people over the age of 60 and is rare in people under the age of 40, say experts. Children are almost never affected by the disease.

Some 13,000 people with CLL are on the watch and Wait programme. See http://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/watch-wait-worry/ for details