Washington dad's battle with extremely rare and incurable cancer

A Washington man has been told he has an incurable cancer so rare that science has only just caught up to give him a diagnosis.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 1:33 pm

Tony Lucas was diagnosed with parosteal osteosaroma in May 2019 following years of major surgeries on his skull for a reoccurring lump growing above his eye.

Now his family hopes to raise awareness of the bone cancer, which is so rare only a handful of people in the world are believed to have it in the same form and place as Tony.

In 1992, the dad was first diagnosed with fibrous dysplasia - an uncommon bone disorder where scar-like tissue develops in place of normal bone – after an accidental knock to his head caused a lump to grow above his eye to the size of a golf ball.

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Tony Lucas with his family. From left to right, daughter Charlotte Selby, wife Vicky Lucas and step-daughter Sam Anderson with granddaughters Alice Anderson and Grace McLeod.

Doctors then carried out a craniotomy, where he was cut from ear to ear, to remove the growth.

In 2008 the growth returned and the 54-year-old, who worked for Kitsons Insulation and most recently Pentland, has undergone eight further operations.

Doctors initially diagnosed it as fibrous dysplasia then ossifying fibroma, but last May Tony was told he had parosteal osteosarcoma – which has now developed to a high grade and spread to the lung.

His cancer diagnosis was backdated to 2016 because tests at that time weren’t advanced enough to detect the cancer. The new technique showed the same results on the 2016 biopsy specimen.

Left and bottom: Tony after one of his many surgeries. Top: Pictures of the stitches and scars following the surgery.

Wife Vicky Lucas said: "Science is only just catching up with it because it is so rare. It’s such a new thing that it could have been there since day one as it was a low grade originally.

"It’s either the science has caught up or it has changed to this over the years.”

Tony, who is dad to Charlotte Selby, 28, and Johnny Lucas, 22 and step-dad to Sam Anderson, 29, underwent radiotherapy in February, although it wasn’t as successful as doctors had hoped, and will have chemotherapy in the future.

Tony said “I just play along and let doctors do what they need to. I’m taking each day as it comes. I’d go back to work tomorrow if I could.”

Tony and wife Vicky.

Vicky, 53, added: “When we found out it was pretty devastating, heartbreaking really. He’s my best friends and my soul mate.

"In 26 years he’s never complained about anything. He just gets on with it and bounces back.

"The last operation was hard on him as he had a spinal fluid leak. He was pretty bad and in hospital over Christmas and New Year which was horrible.

"He was glad to get out and back to normal really.”

Tony Lucas.

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Now more than £1,000 has been donated to help support Tony through a fundraiser set up by step-daughter Sam, who is preparing to take on a zip line over Penrhyn Quarry in Wales this weekend.

Sam said: “I’m terrified but the support has been amazing. I originally set a target of £500 not thinking we’d reach it but we hit it in just over 24 hours.

"We’re so grateful to everyone who has donated.”

The funds will go towards supporting Tony and to Bone Cancer Research.

Tony says he is taking each day as it comes.

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Tony Lucas has been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.