According to a story from freepressseries.co.uk, 45-year-old Stephen Millichamp was recently diagnosed with AL amyloidosis. The news was dire, and Stephen was told that the disease would ultimately be fatal. He began to receive chemotherapy in order to treat the illness. The costs of treatment were going to be a major burden, but it was during his first round of treatment that he met Leanne McMillan, a representative from Macmillan Cancer Support.
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases which are characterized by the build up amyloid fibrils in body tissue. Amyloid fibrils are a type of abnormal protein. As there are several different types of amyloidosis, the cause can vary. Some forms are acquired while others are linked to genetic factors. The most common form is amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. Symptoms of the disease include swelling, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, easy bruising and bleeding, stroke, lung problems, enlarged liver, and changes in skin color. Treatment approaches for amyloidosis includes chemotherapy and stem cell transplant; other options vary depending on the type of amyloidosis. Prognosis varies depending on the type; AL amyloidosis has a median survival of one or two years without treatment. To learn more about amyloidosis, click here.
Stephen says that of the three people in Wales who have the disease, he is the youngest. Although amyloidosis is not technically cancer, it is similar in its seriousness and also in how it is treated; amyloidosis can also appear alongside some types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma. This meant that Stephen was able to get help from Macmillan.
Macmillan helps recently diagnosed cancer patients in a number of ways, by providing financial support and advice, making important decisions regarding treatment, and taking care of stressful aspects of diagnosis such as paperwork. The organization allows patients to focus more on recovering and facing the challenge of their disease head on.
Macmillan has been a major benefit for Stephen and it has prevented from getting overwhelmed with all of the major decisions and circumstances that often seem to appear all at once after getting diagnosed with a serious disease like AL amyloidosis. To learn more about Macmillan Cancer Support, click here.