independent

Wednesday 30 July 2014

New cancer network set up by Tommie

MICHAEL MORAN

Published 06/11/2012|17:57

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RTE's Tommie Gorman on the day he received an honorary MA from NUI Galway. Tommie has set up a new support group called 'Network'.

BROADCASTER and cancer survivor Tommie Gorman is about to launch a new nationwide cancer support group.

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The Sligoman was first diagnosed with Carcinoid cancer in 1994.

He recalls: "It was a bitter sweet year for me. As a life-long Sligo Rovers supporter, my beloved team completed an unprecedented treble but it was also a time of personal trauma."

"I was having to come to terms with a diagnosis of carcinoid cancer."

Carcinoid cancer is a rare form of cancer and effects one in every 100,000 to 150,000 people.

It produces hormone-secreting tumours, and is a chronic condition. Rarely is the 'all clear' given to patients.

Tommy explains: "The best you can do is manage it."

Tommie was living in Brussels as RTE's Europe correspondent when his illness was diagnosed.

He said: "Without major surgery and treatment in Sweden and Belgium I would be much closer to death."

Tommie is now taking time out to help others in Ireland who have carcinoid cancer.

He is one of those promoting a new support group, called ' Network' which will be launched on Saturday next.

'Network' is hosting the first in a series of annual seminars in Trinity College. Experts from the hospital in Uppsala, Sweden, where Tommie was treated, will attend.

The event will be opened by Dr Susan O'Reilly, director of the National Cancer Care Programme.

It will include a question-and-answer session featuring Irish and international experts.

Tommie said: "The diagnosis of carcinoid cancer is very, very difficult and an awful lot of people get misdiagnosed."

Tommie is using his experience of treatment in Europe to inform Irish people how they can access health services in other EU member states.

He said: "I want to help build up the knowledge base about carcinoid cancer in Ireland.

"I hope the new support group 'Network' will increase it further."

There are also discussions with the HSE and National Cancer Care Programme.

Tommie added: "The plan is that patients would be monitored here.

"If the treatment required is not available here, there would be no difficulty in referring a patient to Sweden.

"Basically, we are making our contribution to how services are built and structured in Ireland.

"Up to now information and patient services were somewhat hit and miss.

"We hope to improve that from here on in."

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