05/12/2022 | Press releases

‘I said yes to trial to help future patients’ says research participant

Helping find future cancer treatments was Alan’s motivation for saying yes to a research trial at Ipswich Hospital.

The 62-year-old was diagnosed with bowel cancer after returning a screening card during the summer.

Concerns raised by the screening card meant Alan Godbold had a follow-up colonoscopy which found a tumour.

Full body photo of a man in black suit
Alan Godbold, participant on the FOxTROT3 study

Alan, who lives in Leiston, said: “I was getting a bit of blood when I went to the toilet, so when the screening card arrived it was good timing.”

Alan said he knew it was cancer, but pleased it had been detected early.

“It was a relief in a way just knowing. I’ve had scans and it hasn’t spread which is good news.” He said.

The active business owner was cycling 100 miles a week, running and sea swimming regularly but he’s paused some of his exercise while he goes through treatment, which he’s having as part of a trial called FOxTROT3. The study, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, is testing whether giving three chemotherapy drugs before and after surgery has better results than two chemotherapy drugs.

Man on bike in high vis bike gear and helmet
Alan Godbold on his bike

Alan will have chemotherapy and then have surgery to remove the tumour before more chemotherapy if necessary.

He said: “I didn’t even question saying yes to the research – I said of course I would go for it as I want to help people in the future.

“I wouldn’t be able to have any treatment at all if it wasn’t for people who have previously taken part in research, so I wanted to do my bit too.”

As well as testing whether three drugs are better than two, the study is also looking at whether having chemotherapy before surgery is a more effective way of treating cancer in older or frail patients with bowel cancer.

Research Practitioner Debbie Austin said: “Alan has received the more intense chemotherapy plan which we hope will reduce his tumour prior to surgery. This is an exciting trial that we hope many patients like Alan will benefit from.”

There are several symptoms of bowel cancer including blood in your poo, a change in bowel habits, tummy pain or bloating discomfort after eating. If you have any concerns about bowel cancer, speak to your GP.

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