South West Wales

Lung cancer patient Luke Harding praises NHS treatment

Luke Harding Image copyright Luke Harding
Image caption Luke Harding said: "I dictate what happens to my body and when... not cancer"

A cancer patient from Pembrokeshire has praised the NHS, saying he has received the "very best treatment."

Luke Harding, a 29-year-old lorry driver from near Haverfordwest, was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread in September.

He was previously a "fit and healthy lad".

The Welsh Government said it was committed to improving survival rates for cancer and reducing early deaths caused by the disease.

It launched its refreshed cancer delivery plan on Tuesday.

The plan focuses on delivering better results for lung cancer patients, such as Mr Harding, improving early detection through better access to diagnostic tests and ensuring the highest standards of care.

Mr Harding was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma (a malignant tumour) of the lung, shortly followed by a brain metastasis (cancer cells that have spread to the brain from primary tumours in other organs in the body). It means the cancer is classed as a Stage 4 disease, meaning the tumour has spread.

He described himself as "a fit and healthy lad" and enjoyed playing football with Solva and coasteering.

He said the only symptoms he experienced was "coughing up some blood," but did not feel unwell.

'Very best treatment'

So far he has received stereotactic surgery on his brain, 20 sessions of radiotherapy and two chemotherapy sessions on his lung and chest, all carried out at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.

He said he was feeling "terrible" after the treatment, describing his chest as having the "worst kind of sunburn".

"It's just burnt to a crisp, so eating is like swallowing glass," he said.

But Mr Harding insists he has received the "very best NHS treatment available".

"There were no delays, my team have been super-efficient and understand the severity of my condition," he said.

Image copyright Luke Harding

Mr Harding also had high praise for ward 10 at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest.

He said the staff there "been instrumental and phenomenal throughout" and have been there "day and night" for him and his family.

He set up a fund raising page for ward 10, which raised almost £2,300 in less than a week.

'Keep pushing forward'

Wrist bands bearing the slogans #teamHarding and #togetherstronger are also being worn by the hundreds of people supporting Mr Harding in his cancer battle.

On Thursday Mr Harding decided to shave his hair after losing some to his treatment.

"I dictate what happens to my body and when...not cancer," he said.

"This is all part and parcel of the journey I'm on. Just saddle up and keep pushing forward."

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