Tamworth man's worldwide search for cancer treatment

SEEKING OTHER OPTIONS: Tamworth man Dan Haslam was re-diagnosed with cancer in September last year. He is now in the process of planning a trip to Germany for experimental treatment for the disease. Photo: Kitty Hill 090312KHA002
SEEKING OTHER OPTIONS: Tamworth man Dan Haslam was re-diagnosed with cancer in September last year. He is now in the process of planning a trip to Germany for experimental treatment for the disease. Photo: Kitty Hill 090312KHA002

FOLLOWING a cancer relapse at the end of last year, Tamworth’s Dan Haslam is considering his options for treatment.

First on the list is hyperthermia treatment in Germany, and recently more than 350 family, friends and people Dan has never even met attended a ’70s-themed fundraising night to help get him there.

Overwhelmed by the support the fundraiser had attracted, Dan said before the event he had no idea what was in store for him on the night.

“They’ve been keeping it a secret,” he said.

“But I am going in a hideous Austin Powers costume.

“I can’t believe how many people are going. The support we’ve received so far has been amazing.”

Dan was first diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 20 in March 2010.

A colonoscopy revealed a tumour measuring seven centimetres on each side in his large intestine.

He had surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible but, in a massive blow, follow-up scans revealed the cancer had spread to his liver.

At that time, Dan said surgeons had told him the cancer in his liver was inoperable and they gave him two years to live.

He underwent chemotherapy, which he said had “torn him to shreds”.

Such was his response to that bout of chemotherapy that Dan was offered a liver re-section.

“The doctor basically removed three quarters of my liver,” he said.

In February last year, following another successful round of chemotherapy, doctors told Dan things were “looking pretty good”.

He was taken off chemotherapy until about eight months later, when a scan found a number of spots in his stomach.

Dan was re-diagnosed in September – about the same time he became engaged to his partner Alyce.

Those spots are now being treated with chemotherapy.

“It looks as through the chemo is shrinking the spots, but Germany and the hyperthermia treatment is an option,” he said.

“We like that there are options and we are keen to explore them.”

Dan said he and his family had been inundated with suggestions for alternative treatment for the

disease.

“Family friends, friends of friends, a lot of people have come forward with suggestions,”he said.

“At this point the best option appears to be a clinic in Munich.”

In the next few weeks, Dan will undergo another few scans that will be sent to Germany and considered by doctors.

He said while the specific treatment he would undergo may be a bit different the hyperthermia treatment he was likely to experience would be in conjunction with his ongoing chemotherapy.

“Basically we won’t know until all the medical specialists – surgeons and oncologists – have co-ordinated what my exact treatment will be,” he said.

“Under the hyperthermia treatment, I understand, I’ll be put under a general anaesthetic for about eight hours while they heat my body temperature to 42 degrees,” he said.

“At that temperature, it’s been explained to me that the heat will kill the cancer cells.”