Beth shares good news with 'Army'
A woman with a rare form of cancer has been boosted by the news that tumours have begun shrinking following her first course of treatment.
Beth Walsh, of Bath Road, said scans taken the day after the treatment revealed the good news.
She thanked people who have contributed to a fundraising campaign to pay for her treatment run by friends and members of the public, named Beth’s Army.
Beth, who has a son, was diagnosed with liver-dominant metastatic ocular melanoma – secondary liver cancer arising from a rare form of primary cancer of the eye called ocular melanoma (OM).
There are only between five and six cases of OM a year per million people, with 45 per cent of those patients developing secondary liver cancer over the following 15 years.
Her left eye was removed in 2019 shortly after her OM diagnosis and liver cancer was diagnosed in 2020.
Her treatment, chemosaturat-ion, also known as Delcath, treats the spread of the cancer to the liver by delivering chemotherapy specifically to the liver, reducing side-effects and meaning the liver can be saturated with the relevant drugs.
Beth said: “The scans I had taken the day after show that the first treatment in March has already started shrinking those pesky liver tumours and that doesn't always happen to everyone so we’ll call that a miracle.
“Thank you army for making this possible.”
She had a video consultation with a doctor from Southampton to discuss her scan results, showing the effects of the first Delcath treatment on her liver.
She said: “The largest tumour has reduced from 34 millimetres by 32 millimetres to 27 millimetres by 26 millimetres.
“The second largest has reduced from 22 millimetres by 19 millimetres to 16 millimetres by 14 millimetres.
“All of the tumours are smaller. There are no new tumours.”
Another doctor who reviews the scans described Beth’s results as a “significant reduction”.
She asked if such significant results were unusual for a first treatment and was told yes, as sometimes the first scan shows no change at all.
She added: “There’s also a thing called Diffusion Weighting, that shows the activity of the melanoma. It shows as inactive.
“The other good news is that whatever was previously on my lung is now completely gone. My lungs are clear. This has nothing to do with Delcath so that’s a miracle.”
She added: “The best news is that I don’t have to have another treatment until the week commencing August 15.”
Beth is founder-director of the theatre workshop, Worcester Theatremakers.
As well as being a qualified holistic therapist, she has worked as area manager for national charity Young Enterprise, delivering financial and employability programmes.
She has experience in the care and charity sectors, with clients including adults and children impacted by a range of social problems, learning difficulties and physical and mental health issues.
Beth sings with band Low Red Moon.
Paying tribute to her fundraising army she said: “I’m ever grateful – It's overwhelming at times. It’s still incredible to me how much people have rallied round.”