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Cullingworth girl backing cancer plea
A Cullingworth teenager who beat bone cancer is campaigning to highlight 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 limping symptoms.
Frankie, who attends Skipton Girls’ High School, raises money regularly for the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Now she is backing the charity’s campaign to raise awareness among GPs about the symptoms.
She spent Sunday at the Royal Parks Half Marathon, organised in aid of the charity, promoting Bone Cancer Awareness Week.
Frankie lost a close friend, Zack, to the disease, and says this showed her the need to raise both awareness and money to help survival rates increase.
She added: “I’m proud to have beaten cancer, but more awareness is needed to help early diagnosis and improve the outcomes for patients.”
The Trust said survival rates have 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 scan 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.
“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.”
Frankie is organising a rock concert in Skipton in May next year to raise more money for the trust. Visit bcrt.org.uk for further information.