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Former Paralympic swimmer Marc Woods cured of cancer after proton therapy

Marc Woods, 54, was diagnosed with bone cancer as a teen, had his left foot amputated but went on to win 12 medals including four swimming golds while competing at five Paralympics between 1988 and 2004.

Last September the father of two and BBC commentator from Nottingham was horrified to find a lump in his neck. Doctors said it was throat cancer.

But after 33 daily sessions of the less invasive beam therapy as part of the TORPEdO clinical trial at The Christie NHS Trust in Manchester, Marc has revealed his joy at being cured again.

He said: “I was so lucky to be able to have such a new form of treatment for my second cancer experience – things have moved on so much since I got diagnosed with my first cancer back in 1986.

“Everyone at The Christie was brilliant from start to finish, they couldn’t do enough to help. I honestly couldn’t have felt more supported.

“Even though the treatment was tough, the experience I had was a really special one, there’s nowhere else I would have rather been treated.”

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When Marc, then aged 17, had his left foot amputated he soon returned to the pool. He began swimming faster with one foot than he had with two. Just 18 months after he ended his chemo he starred at the Seoul Paralympics in 1988.

His latest diagnosis came after feeling something stuck in his throat while rehearsing a speech.

Michelle Mitchell, at Cancer Research UK, said such trials mean people can get “tomorrow’s treatments today”.

She added: “Proton beam therapy has huge potential to become a kinder treatment for certain cancers, and we’re so proud to be funding work that will help many more patients like Marc.”

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  • Posted on June 8, 2023