The first symptoms to ring alarm bells for rig worker Liam Griffiths were stomach pains and chronic constipation.
He was first struck by these signs in March while he was away for work.
Shockingly, the seemingly benign issues turned out to be a rare form of terminal cancer.
On his return home, the 31-year-old went to North Tees Hospital where doctors initially thought he may have Crohn’s Disease.
A scan revealed the man’s bowel had perforated and he was rushed in for emergency surgery.
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Just weeks later, doctors broke the devastating news to Liam, telling him he’s actually suffering from peritoneal cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK, this type of cancer starts in the thin layer of tissue lining the inside of the abdomen called the peritoneum.
The peritoneum covers all of the organs within the tummy, such as the bowel and the liver.
The charity explains that key symptoms for the deadly condition can be “very unclear” and “difficult to spot”.
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Peritoneal cancer can trigger the following warning signs which are common with many other medical conditions:
- Swollen tummy (abdomen)
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Feeling or being sick
- Feeling bloated
- Loss of appetite.
Liam, who is now too ill to work, has vowed to take his diagnosis “on the chin” after more than £14,000 was raised for him.
He told TeesideLive: “I am the type of person who would never ask anyone for help, I am full of pride.
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“But, when something like this happens you are backed into a corner really. The people of Teesside have taken it to the next level.”
Liam and his family are now planning to go to a cabin for the festive season so they can spend what will likely be their last Christmas together.
The 31-year-old’s mum, Susan Huskinson, 56, said: “We are not taking it in. It is like it is happening to someone else.”
The mum added she has been overwhelmed by the generosity and the amount of money raised for Liam in such a short time. You can donate to Liam’s fundraiser here.
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