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Skipton Girls' High School pupil who beat cancer now fights for others
10:00am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
A Skipton Girls’ High School pupil who beat bone cancer is highlighting the importance of early diagnosis.
Frankie Haigh had to have a bone in her leg removed after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2007.
The 14-year-old had originally gone to her doctor suffering from pain at night and a limp.
Frankie now raises money regularly for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and she is backing the charity’s campaign to raise awareness among GPs about the symptoms.
She attended the Royal Parks Half Marathon, organised in aid of the charity, promoting Bone Cancer Awareness Week.
Frankie lost a close friend to the disease and said this underlined the need to raise both awareness and money to help survival rates increase.
She said: “I’m proud to have beaten cancer but more awareness is needed to help early diagnosis and improve the outcomes for patients.”
The Bone Cancer Research Trust said survival rates had not improved in 25 years, unlike those for more common forms of cancer.
Symptoms are often mistaken for sport injuries or growing pains, which means the tumour can grow for months without being diagnosed.
This winter the trust will launch an e-learning module with the Royal College of GPs to help doctors spot the symptoms and refer patients for an X-ray earlier.
Professor Andy Hall, chairman of the trust’s Independent Scientific Advisory Panel, said primary bone cancer symptoms can include painful bones or swollen joints.
He said: “It is vital that it is diagnosed early to give patients the best chance of survival.
“The Bone Cancer Research Trust is working with GPs and other health professionals to raise awareness of the disease and refer patients for further investigation whenever bone cancer is a possibility, particularly in children and young adults.”
Frankie, who lives in Cullingworth, is organising a rock concert in Skipton in May next year to raise money for the trust.
More information about bone cancer and the trust are available from bcrt.org.uk.