A father of two who suffered from a watery eye for eight months discovered that he had a facial cancer that he & # 39; the alien & # 39; called.
Graeme Heward, 58, of Lymm, Cheshire, was thought to have the condition dry eyes or a blocked tear duct when he saw doctors.
But finally a mass was discovered in his nose, which led to doctors diagnosing him with a cancer of the nose in 2010.
Physiotherapy was so embarrassed & # 39; and destroyed by the growing tumor in his face that he prefers & # 39; the Alien & # 39; then called cancer.
Mr. Heward got a hole in his face and lost his right eye after about 30 operations to tackle mass. He has since had a skin transplant and wears a prosthetic nose and a right eye.
Two years ago Mr. Heward was told that his cancer was incurable and so he lives the rest of his shortened life by raising money for charity.
Graeme Heward, 58, who suffered with a watery eye for eight months, discovered that he had a facial cancer that he found the & # 39; Alien & # 39; called. He was diagnosed in 2010 and has since had 30 operations followed by a skin graft and prosthetic nose and eye (pictured)
Mr. Heward, whose cancer is now incurable, was left with a hole in his face after the surgery to treat the cancerous mass in his nose. Depicted on an unclear date
Mr. Heward told it Liverpool Echo: & # 39; I didn't feel unwell and I didn't suffer any weight loss, it all started with the watery eye. & # 39;
For months Mr. Heward visited the doctors about problems with his eye and pressure in his sinuses, but it is not clear how often.
When he was finally told that an ear, nose, and throat specialist had had a tumor grow in his face, he had suffered from his symptoms for almost eight months.
WHAT IS NASAL CANCER?
Nose and sinus cancer affects the nasal cavity, the space behind your nose, and the sinuses, small cavities with air in your nose, cheekbones and forehead.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of nasal and sinus cancer are persistent nasal congestion, which usually affects only one side, nose bleeds, decreased sense of smell, mucus running from your nose or covering the back of your nose and throat.
These symptoms can be comparable to more general and less serious conditions, such as a cold or sinusitis.
At a later stage, symptoms may include pain or numbness in the face, especially in the upper cheek, swollen glands in the neck, partial loss of vision or double vision, a bulging or persistent watering eye, pain or pressure in one ear, and persistent lumps or growth on your face, nose or the roof of your mouth.
Who is diagnosed?
It is a rare form of cancer that usually occurs in men over 40 years of age.
Only about 400 cases are diagnosed annually in the UK and 2000 in the US.
Other risk factors include prolonged exposure to certain substances through your work, including wood dust, subject matter, fabric fibers, nickel, chromium and formaldehyde, smoking and human papillomavirus (HPV).
More than 70 percent of people with nasal and sinus cancer will survive a year or more after diagnosis. About 50 percent will survive five years.
Mr. Heward said: “When the tumor was discovered, I could see the mass in my nose, but doctors originally thought it was benign.
& # 39; Later the tumor heard that cancer was devastating. & # 39;
Cancer can begin in the lining of the space behind the nose, called the nasal cavity, which affects vision, the ability to open the mouth and cause pain.
Only about 400 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK and 2000 in the US, according to estimates.
It is estimated that about half of people will survive five years or more after being diagnosed, according to Cancer Research UK, with survival depending on the stage at which it is diagnosed. It is not clear at what stage Mr. Heward's cancer was.
Mr. Heward started his tumor & # 39; the Alien & # 39; because he struggled to say he had cancer.
He said: & # 39; It was too painful to admit that I had cancer.
& # 39; I was ashamed for some reason, so I called it the Alien.
& # 39; It was unwanted and unwelcome and it invaded my life. & # 39;
Since his diagnosis, Heward has undergone nearly 30 surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which has cost him his right eye and made it difficult for him to breathe out of his nose.
The treatments caused considerable damage to his face and in 2018 Mr. Heward could undergo a corrective operation.
He had taken skin and muscles off his thigh before fitting a prosthetic eye and nose, which means he can breathe again without pain and even wear his glasses.
Unfortunately, Mr Heward's treatment options were limited to palliative chemotherapy two years ago.
Determined to have the longest life he could, he made drastic changes to his habits to improve his health.
The father of two said he had always been fit and healthy (photo). He complained to doctors about a watery eye and pressure in his sinuses for eight months
Despite being placed on palliative care, Mr. Heward has just started a 1000-mile bike ride to raise money for the Maggie centers. He changed his lifestyle so that he could extend his life for as long as possible. Recently pictured
He said: & # 39; When I started investigating what I could do, I discovered about 50 changes I could make in my life to keep myself healthy.
& # 39; I changed my diet, reduced stress in my life and limited my exposure to chemicals, just to name a few.
& # 39; I have always been fit and healthy when working as a physical therapist, but I have never been as healthy as I am now. & # 39;
The changes made by Mr. Heward coincided with the opening of the Maggie Center in Manchester, where he received emotional support.
Mr. Heward said: & # 39; The ethos of these centers is perhaps best summarized in a quote from their founder Maggie Keswick Jones: & # 39; Most importantly, it is not about losing the joy of living in fear of dying, which is a concept that I now embody in my daily life. & # 39;
Despite being placed on palliative care, Mr. Heward has just started a 1000-mile bike ride to raise money for the centers, with an average of no less than 80 miles a day.
After he had raised nearly £ 6,000, Mr. Heward said: & I am surrounded by incredible people who helped me endure this, including my wonderful partner Leslie.
& # 39; But I've also received so much support from Maggie & # 39; s and I just want to help them in every way I can.
& # 39; Many people don't know what Maggie is and hopefully they will never have to use their services, but I just want to help them in any way. & # 39;
Mr. Heward will cycle from Swansea to Inverness for the next two weeks to June 14 and will stop at every Maggie's Center on his way through the country.
To donate to Mr Heward's fundraiser or to find out more about his story, visit JustGiving page.
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