RELIEVED Donna Hannah has been told her battle against a rare cancer is over after having a radical hysterectomy.
As revealed in the Echo, Donna had to undergo the operation to remove her uterus, cervix, ovaries and some pelvic nodes after being diagnosed with mesonephric adenocarcinoma – a cancer that has affected just 30 people globally.
The devastating news came as a huge blow to the 38-year-old as all hopes of her ever having children were dashed.
But after spending eight days in hospital, Donna, of Oxclose, Washington, has been told the cancer has not spread.
She said: “It’s such a relief because I’d prepared myself for the worst and really was expecting to have to go through chemotherapy and radiotherapy so when I was told I couldn’t believe it.”
Donna, a civil servant, has battled health problems for years.
Two years ago, she discovered she had a blocked fallopian tube that led to a build-up of liquid in her uterus.
In April, she was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, suffering from an infection in one of her tubes.
Medics told her she should have it taken out and had surgery in June.
A few weeks ago, Donna was hospitalised when septicaemia developed in her uterus.
Tests flagged up an abnormality and biopsies, and MRI scans, revealed the rare cancer, which usually affects the liver and kidneys, was in her cervix.
She said: “I’m ecstatic now and, although I’m still in a lot of pain, it feels like now my life can really begin again after so many years of suffering and never getting any answers.”
Donna, who is in a long-term relationship, is using her experience to help others. She has set up a support group on Facebook called Cancer’s not ageist... It affects everyone and is also arranging a fund-raiser in August.
All cash raised will go to Northern Cancer Care and Research Society, which focuses on gynaecological cancer.
“I want to help others and feel that is what I should do,” she said.
Doctors are also featuring her case in a medical journal.