A woman from Pinner who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2019 wants to raise awareness and warn others of the symptoms of the relatively unknown Sarcoma cancer.
Namita Bhatia, who works as a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist in Pinner, visited her GP at The Ridgeway Surgery in September 2019 when she began to experience back pain. She was sent for an X-ray but whilst awaiting the results, her back pain became so severe she could not get up.
After being sent for an emergency scan, Namita was diagnosed with Sarcoma, a rare type of soft and bone tissue cancer on December 31, 2019. Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body, on the inside or outside, including the muscle, bone, tendons, blood vessels and fatty tissues.
Namita told PinnerNews: “So many people ignore pain, but pain could be a sign of a more serious thing, and that’s what happened to me. It is something that people need to be aware of. If the pain hasn’t gone away, absolutely it is important to get yourself checked out. Please don’t ignore it.”
Namita went through 25 sessions of radiotherapy at University College Hospital (UCH) which began in January 2020, and continued her treatment throughout the first lockdown. She has not left the house in over a year other than to attend hospital appointments. Namita took last year off work to rest and recover and began working again at the start of 2021.
Statistics from Sarcoma UK website show awareness of sarcoma is low. According to a YouGov poll in April 2020, three quarters of people in the UK do not know or are not sure what sarcoma is and less than a third of respondents identified sarcoma as a form of cancer. Nearly a third of respondents had no idea of what the symptoms of sarcoma are and less than half could identify the key symptoms of a painful lump growing in size and bone pain.
Namita hopes that by sharing her story more people will become aware of sarcoma, which 15 people are diagnosed with daily in the UK. Sarcoma now makes up approximately 1.4% of all UK cancer diagnoses.