Portsmouth woman survives same cancer that killed her grandmother but says there is more research to do

More than 25 years ago, Sarah Terracciano was left devastated when her grandmother died from womb cancer.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 1:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 10:26 am
Sarah Terracciano from Portsmouth has vowed to help Cancer Research UK continue its mission as it launches an urgent new appeal for donations to help get life-saving work back on track.

A few years ago she faced the same fight and survived – and now she wants people to help tackle the loss of funding for Cancer Research UK caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The 43-year-old from Portsmouth has vowed to help the charity as it launches an urgent donation appeal for donations as it expects a £160m drop in income in the year ahead.

Back in 2016, Sarah was diagnosed with womb cancer, after 18 months of having problems with her periods and suffering from hair loss, and says she owes her life to advances in treatment.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

She said: ‘The news came as such a shock. I was sat in the room completely on my own when they told me.

‘I think I was just numb initially. I went home and burst into tears as I tried to tell my partner Tony. I was crying so much I couldn’t even get the words out at the start.

‘I had never heard of womb cancer before and if I had then maybe I would have thought that was what my symptoms were. I thought my grandmother had bowel cancer but then I found out it was womb cancer. I got tested to see if it was hereditary but it came back as negative.’

Read More

Read More
Royal Navy chief petty officer died in M275 crash

Three weeks after her diagnosis Sarah, who was treated at Queen Alexandra Hospital, underwent a full hysterectomy and had her ovaries removed which put her into early menopause, taking away any hope she had of having children.

Sarah said: ‘Having the decision made for you that you will never have a child was difficult and upsetting. I hadn’t really decided what I wanted to do one way or the other and I didn’t really stop to think about the implications of the operation at the time, I was more focused on wanting the cancer gone so that I didn’t die.’

With her treatment now over, Sarah, who found support in local groups, is encouraging people to get behind a fundraising appeal for Cancer Research UK.

The social care support worker added: ‘We definitely need research. I have had what my grandmother had – she died, and I didn’t. That’s how far we have come, but we still need to go further.

‘It’s thanks to improved treatments that I’ve been given more precious time with my loved ones – so it upsets me to think about research being delayed and what this might mean for people affected by cancer in the months and years to come.’

Jenny Makin, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Hampshire, said: ‘We’re grateful to Sarah for helping to underline the stark reality of the current situation.

‘Covid-19 put so much of our research on pause, leaving us facing a crisis where every day and every pound counts.

‘With around 51,400 people diagnosed with cancer each year in the South East, we will never stop striving to create better treatments. But we can’t do it alone.’

Donate now at cruk.org/give

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online. Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.