Full body scans: Friend to continue cancer victim’s campaign

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A woman with cancer told her best friend her “dying wish” was that he continue the fight for full body scans before patients receive the all clear.

Gemma Sisson-Moore, 39, launched a petition to change NHS practices after being told she was cancer-free only to find the disease had spread.

Mrs Sisson-Moore, of Leeds, hoped her campaign had had a “positive impact”.

“Her dying wish to me was that I see this through,” best friend Daniel Clark-Bland said.

“She made me promise to keep it going and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her down.

“It’s her legacy and we need to make her proud.”

Mrs Sisson-Moore died last week, but had been able to marry her long-time partner Rick shortly before.

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She was diagnosed with pelvic cancer in 2018 and, after a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, was given the all-clear in January 2019.

By August however, she had been diagnosed with secondary cancer in her spine, liver and stomach.

With the help of Mr Clark-Bland, she launched a petition urging the health secretary to conduct a review of NHS standard practice around body scanning.

The petition advocates for full body scans in favour of scans of areas where the cancer was originally detected.

Mr Clark-Bland said that if she had received a full body scan, it would have picked up her secondary cancer earlier and let her have “a better quality of life for longer”.

He added the coronavirus crisis stole the opportunity for Mrs Sisson-Moore to spend her last few months with her loved ones.

‘Weirdly comforting’

She left a message which appeared on Instagram shortly after she died saying: “I really hope that by sharing my cancer story and petitioning for secondary cancer scans to be made mandatory I’ve made a positive impact.

“Even if only one person gets some help from this then I will feel like I have accomplished something good.”

Mr Clark-Bland said the message came as a surprise to her friends but was “weirdly comforting” to read.

NHS England has been approached for comment about the petition.

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