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Russell’s story – surviving kidney cancer, thanks to an emergency lifesaving operation.

Russell Jones survived kidney cancer, thanks to an emergency lifesaving operation.

Every hour, someone is diagnosed with kidney cancer. It can happen to anyone. Russell Jones was 40 and fit and healthy when he found out about the tumour on his kidney. He had no symptoms – no pain or mysterious lumps. He climbed mountains and played rugby. But one morning there was blood in his urine.

He made an appointment with his GP for that afternoon, and then went back to work. He didn’t feel ill at all. When he saw his GP, she suspected he had a kidney stone that had nicked a vein and caused the bleeding. She referred him to the local hospital and he drove home unconcerned. He still felt fine.

A shocking diagnosis

But 10 minutes later he was in agony and had to call an ambulance. He was rushed into hospital. An x-ray revealed an enormous 17cm tumour. It would kill him if he didn’t have it removed immediately.

Russell was devastated. He went through so many emotions. Shock and fear and anger. He couldn’t believe this was happening to him. He didn’t know how he was going to tell his girlfriend and his family.

Russell Jones

Life-saving surgery

The surgeon successfully removed the tumour, which turned out to weigh 7kg. He said the type of cancer that Russell had grows slowly, so it’s likely the tumour had been growing for more than 5 years.

Four weeks after the operation, Russell got the all clear. He was free of cancer and could expect to live a full and normal life.

Russell is grateful that so much research has gone into understanding more about kidney cancer. He knows he was lucky. Many people aren’t.

"I’m still around today, thanks to all the research that has gone into understanding more about kidney cancer."

A better future for cancer patients

We fund research into new treatments for kidney cancer. One of these projects is lead by Dr John Bradley at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. He has discovered a way to instruct cancerous kidney cells to stop growing and die. It’s the first major step towards a potentially life-saving new treatment.

We need urgent funds to keep supporting life-saving research projects.

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