An Eastbourne mum who suddenly lost her dad to cancer three months ago is inspiring people to sign up for the Race for Life after it was revealed the disease’s survival rates are improving in East Sussex.
Lorraine Duffy’s father, Michael Daly, was told he had an inoperable cancerous tumour on January 20 of this year and just 24 hours after his diagnosis, sadly passed away on January 21.
Now, Lorraine, who is a teaching assistant at St Thomas a Becket School, has signed up to Eastbourne’s Race for Life on June 22 alongside five other members of her family.
She said, “We can’t quite take it in. We’re all still reeling from the shock. It all happened so suddenly that we only discovered the type of cancer he had – pancreatic – when it was written on his death certificate.
“I took part in the Horsham Race for Life event last year and saw it as a bit of a fun day out because cancer had never affected our family before.
“This year will be very different. Now I know just how cruel and shocking this disease can be and that every penny counts towards life-saving research.”
It is down to this research that recent statistics published by Cancer Research UK have revealed that 50 per cent of people diagnosed with the disease today will survive for at least ten years. In East Sussex, that means 2,200 of the 4,400 people diagnosed annually will live for a further decade.
Women with breast cancer now have a 78 per cent chance of surviving at least ten years in the UK, compared to only 40 per cent 40 years ago. Ten-year survival for men with testicular cancer has jumped from 69 to 98 per cent since the 1970s and, for people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, 10-year survival has leapt from 46 to 89 per cent.