Jill's calendar to raise awareness of rare cancer
A WOMAN who suffered with a rare form of cancer has made a calendar to raise awareness of the disease.
Jill De Nardo was diagnosed with anal cancer in June 2010 after nine months of the cancer going unnoticed.
The 53-year-old knew something was wrong but, because the cancer is so rare, it was missed on several occasions.
Jill said: "I am on a cancer surveillance programme anyway so I have regular checks for bowel cancer as we have a family history of it."
With every new aerial installed by AMC aerials I will fit an extra point in your bedroom or kitchen for an extra £10
New aerials fitted from £70
Call Adrian on 01332 418856
Terms: Must be an aerial supplied and fitted by AMC aerials
Contact: 01332 418856
Valid until: Friday, July 12 2013
She had a colonoscopy followed by a more detailed examination but the cancer was missed on both occasions.
She said: "When I was still suffering, I went to my GP and then got referred back to the hospital, in Stockport.
"I got my formal diagnosis in June 2010, a long time after the first signs I had. I had a gut feeling about it but it was difficult to diagnose because it's so rare."
Jill underwent a gruelling six-week treatment process with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
When Jill was diagnosed, there were 850 cases of anal cancer in the UK, and now there are 1,100 cases.
Jill, who lives in Buxton, but is originally from Ashbourne, said: "It's a great increase of people in just a couple of years.
"It's a worrying statistic and people don't realise that you can get cancer there.
"It's not mentioned much because people find it embarrassing to talk about.
"I wanted to do something to raise awareness of anal cancer in a fun way and getting a calendar together seemed like a great way to get people thinking about it all year round."
Jill, her daughter, Ellie, 22, and a group of her friends, including Amy Smith, who lives on Kedleston Road, descended on a Manchester car park for the calendar photoshoot.
Jill said: "The calendar is in partnership with the human papillomavirus (HPV) and anal cancer foundation, which has been set up to raise awareness.
"HPV is the cause of anal cancer, cervical cancer and head and neck cancer and is found in eight out of 10 sexually active adults – a scary figure.
"If these cancers are caught early, they can be treated in a gruelling and aggressive but successful way.
"I want to make people, especially women, aware that anal cancer can be a problem and the symptoms might show up in the form of an abnormal smear result.
"Don't just sit back and let it happen to you."
The 2013 calendar is available in the Apple Tree Shop in Ockbrook, or online at www.behindcancercampaign. co.uk. All proceeds will go to charity.