Lung cancer is not just for smokers, Sheffield mum warns

Kathryn Wood, from Deepcar in Sheffield, who is undergoing treatment for a rare lung cancer
Kathryn Wood, from Deepcar in Sheffield, who is undergoing treatment for a rare lung cancer

Lung cancer is typically linked with smoking – but one Sheffield mum-of-two is warning the disease can strike anyone.

Kathryn Wood, aged 56, was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer after experiencing chest problems and visiting her GP.

After undergoing treatment, she was given the news her cancer had progressed, and although she has signed up to a clinical trial her future is now uncertain.

Kathryn, from Deepcar, is now spreading the word about her condition for lung cancer awareness month, which runs throughout November, as well as supporting the work of Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

She was diagnosed last August with a rare EGFR cell mutation, most common in patients who have never smoked.

The disease affects only 10 to 15 per cent of lung cancer patients overall.

Kathryn, who was working for the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s recurrent miscarriage service at the time, was given the chemotherapy drug Iressa for five months, before discovering her cancer had developed a resistance to the oral medication.

She then underwent nine cycles of standard chemotherapy at Weston Park, and has now been referred to Manchester’s Christie Hospital for treatment on a medical trial.

Kathryn said: “Lung cancer was always something I associated with people who smoke, so when I received the diagnosis I was shocked and surprised.

“Nobody wants to be at a cancer hospital, but during my time at Weston Park there was always hope.

“Thanks to research conducted in Sheffield and elsewhere, I was offered different drug trial options at a time when I needed them the most.”

Kathryn has helped the cancer charity by taking part in its tea party campaign Time for Tea, and raised £1,000 by taking part in its annual Light the Night walk in Ecclesall Woods.