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Doreen makes medical history.

Byline: cLAIRE BARRATT

A PENSIONER has made medical history in Nuneaton after being diagnosed with an illness affecting only four in a million people.

Doreen Oldroyd, of Ansley Village, has acromegaly - an elevated growth hormone level which causes benign tumours.

The 69-year-old had been ill for 10 years but doctors were left baffled as to what was wrong with her.

Last year, Doreen underwent tests at the George Eliot Hospital after suffering from breathing difficulties and a swollen tongue, hands and feet.

Doctors discovered the rare condition, caused by a prolonged release of too much growth hormone from the pituitary gland.

Doreen says she was surprised by the diagnosis and now wants to help other people who may have the condition but are unaware of the side-effects.

She said: "I knew I felt unwell but I was just not sure as to exactly what was wrong and when finally I found out, everyone, including me, was astounded.

"I had never heard of the illness and as the doctors have told me, I have made case history for the borough."

"If I can help just one person, then I will feel that something good has come out of my suffering."

Her treatment consists of a new medication, lanreotide, which controls her growth hormone levels effectively for up to 14 days.

Dr Vinod Patel, a consultant physician at the George Eliot Hospital said: "It is vital that people with the illness are treated to reduce their risk of developing additional health complications associated with the condition, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and colon cancer and polyps."

Dr Patel said the treatment had greatly improved Doreen's quality of life.

"She is now able to breathe much easier and is not suffering as frequently from shortness of breath - but she really is unique and has made a medical mark with us at the hospital."

CAPTION(S):

ASTOUNDED: Doreen Oldyord
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 19, 2000
Words:318
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