City man in cancer drug first.Byline: Anuji Varma
A FORMER Birmingham teacher has become one of the first people in the country to use a new drug to fight skin cancer.
Grandad-of-three Robin Bridgman - awarded an MBE MBE (in Britain) Member of the Order of the British Empire
MBE n abbr (BRIT) (= Member of the Order of the British Empire) → título ceremonial
MBE n abbr (Brit) (= for his work as a deputy head at Hall Green School - had his ear removed after being diagnosed with melanoma.
But the 60-year-old, from Shirley, has since been told the cancer has spread.
Doctors at Edgbaston's Queen Elizabeth Hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital can refer to one of several hospitals named after either Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom or Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother:
He is one of two patients who have been prescribed the drug at the QE. He started taking it in March.
Mr Bridgman, now an education consultant after taking early retirement, was first diagnosed after a birthmark birthmark, pigmented maldevelopment of the skin that varies in size, either present at birth or developing later. Birthmarks may appear as moles (melanocytic nevi) that vary in color from light brown to blue, and are either flat or raised above the surface of the on his ear started to bleed.
He explained: "I have never sunbathed that much, but my birthmark started to bleed. I went to see my GP who referred me to the QE and they cut a bit off my ear to test it."
The tests revealed the melanoma, so Mr Bridgman underwent surgery to have his ear removed, and to have a prosthetic pros·thet·ic
1. Serving as or relating to a prosthesis.
2. Of or relating to prosthetics.
serving as a substitute; pertaining to prostheses or to prosthetics. one fitted.
But the cancer returned. "Some lumps appeared in my neck last October, which the hospital had warned me to look out for," he explained. "They operated to remove them on Christmas Eve and discovered they were cancerous."
He then discovered the cancer had spread to his neck and liver. Doctors mentioned the new drug Vemurafenib could be used to treat his condition.
"As soon as they got the licence through, they started me on it," he explained.
"It's a lot better than chemotherapy or radiotherapy because this treatment gives me a lot more freedom."
The hospital houses one of the largest melanoma centres in the UK, offering a full range of services delivered by a team of dermatologists, plastic surgeons and oncologists.
Dr Neil Steven, consultant medical oncologist medical oncologist Oncology An oncologist who diagnoses and treats cancer with chemotherapy, hormones, biologicals, or immunologic agents; the MO becomes a cancer Pt's de facto primary care giver, and coordinates treatment provided by other specialists. , added: "This new drug has been on trial for a couple of years. Previously, there have been only limited treatments for Stage 4 melanoma, which is when the cancer has spread through the body."
Pioneering: Robin Bridgman.