A TEENAGER has been told she will have to have body scans every three months for the rest of her life after being diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer.
At 15, Jade Telford is believed to be the youngest person in Britain to have been treated for a malignant phyllodes tumour.
She is one of only 300 patients worldwide suffering from the fast-growing cancer which does not respond to either chemo or radiotherapy.
Consett Academy pupil Jade, from The Grove, Consett, County Durham, is currently undergoing surgery at Newcastle’s RVI after being diagnosed in May this year.
Jade says doctors have told her she will never have the all-clear and will have to undergo regular full body scans for the rest of her life to make sure it has not returned. The teenager has already had a large tumour removed.
Jade said she was “really confused” when she was told she was suffering from the rare form of cancer.
“At first I just felt numb. I looked at the woman who was telling me the news blankly, I just couldn’t take it in. It just wouldn’t sink in what she was saying,” said Jade.
“Now I am beginning to accept it as part of life, but I will have to go for three-monthly body scans for the rest of my life.”
Jade said she had told her friends that she was poorly but had not revealed details of her illness.
“I have got to get on with life, I go back to school soon and my GCSEs are coming up,” she said.
Jade said she felt “perfectly OK” before she was diagnosed with the condition. “I felt a lump which is why I went to the doctor. I kept having to go back for more tests. Then they broke the news and I thought, ‘Why me?’,” she said.
“It is really rare even in mature women, so why it would happen to me is something I am really confused about as my body is not fully mature yet.
“It is getting easier though now I understand more about it, and it does not faze me so much now.”
Tonight members of Jade’s large extended family and friends are holding a charity evening at The Grove club, Moorside, Consett, to raise funds for cancer charities.
Her stepsister’s mother Vicky O’Hagen, 28, is having her shoulder-length hair cut off to raise funds for FACT, Fighting All Cancers Together, a cancer charity founded by Joanne Smith in 2005 after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35.
And her grandmother Marianne Bailey, 51, is reforming her Blondie tribute act, Parallel Lines, especially for the occasion.
Vicky said: “I’m not musical at all, but I wanted to do something to show support for Jade, which is why I decided to get all my hair cut off. Jade is amazingly positive, she is incredible really, an inspiration.”
Jam 4 Jade is being held at The Grove club from 6pm and features live music from a host of bands.
Funds will also be raised for Clic Sargant, a support group for children and young people with cancer, which has been supporting Jade since her diagnosis.