I had tumour as big as size 10 shoe

John Phillips A BATTLING cancer patient had an aggressive tumour as big as a size 10 shoe removed in one of the first double keyhole operations in the UK. Dennis O Neill, 59, of Langley Gardens, Dagenham, stayed 10-and-a-half hours on the operating table as Royal Londo

John Phillips

A BATTLING cancer patient had an aggressive tumour as big as a size 10 shoe removed in one of the first double keyhole operations in the UK.

Dennis O'Neill, 59, of Langley Gardens, Dagenham, stayed 10-and-a-half hours on the operating table as Royal London Hospital surgeons removed the 30cm by 8cm growth from his colon and a 5cm liver tumour in a single operation.

The father-of-three said he thought he would die after the growths were diagnosed in August, and is now "over the moon".


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The back-to-back procedure, thought to have been performed fewer than 10 times, left him with just a 5cm incision, reduced post-operative pain and halved his hospital stay to just six days.

Mr O'Neill, a builder, said: "What a fantastic result, given I was one of the first in the country - and I was home in six days.

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"Now the X-rays show that they've done a lovely job and my scars are healing up well."

Colon surgeon Shafi Ahmed carried out the operation with liver surgeon Hemant Kocher, using a tiny video camera inserted in the body via a tube characteristic of keyhole surgery.

Mr Ahmed said: "This was one of the first such procedures to use keyhole surgery in the UK.

"What was so key to the success of this operation was the team effort and the collaboration of everyone involved."

Mr O'Neill is almost in the clear but is receiving chemotherapy until June to wipe out any remaining cancerous cells.

He added: "The keyhole surgery has given me a new lease of life.

"I've got three children, and want to see my youngest, Terry, 13, grow up to be a rock star. I want to travel, and start enjoying myself. I'm going to have the time of my life.

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