Cancer, Polio, Diabetes and other conditions

Polio and other conditions

can affect Cancer Treatment

Update on yesterday’s Post:  suddenly my visitor stats to the website went rocketing up – I never knew so many people had problems from other conditions, that impacted on cancer treatment.  I was even singled out by Chris Salter, who publishes a daily bulletin on Polio around the world, and made me feel very honoured to think he was reading my article.  But researching available information, it seems to those MDT teams don’t take in to account what else we have had,

English: President Franklin Roosevelt, himself...

President Franklin Roosevelt, polio survivor


It had taken me two months to get over problems because the anaesthetist for my cancer op. had disregarded the fact that I had had polio.  Next time I asked the British Polio Fellowship to send their pre-operation pack to my surgeon, and also my anaesthetist, and bless them – both read it from cover to cover, and I sailed through this op.

Grudgingly the Oncologists acknowledged that polio might impact on some of my treatment, and at last I made such a fuss that I was sent to see a Polio specialist, and from then onwards things improved. But it took visits to hospitals in Europe before I found doctors to treat the two conditions holistically.

Stand up for yourself

Recently an insensitive doctor asked “why didn’t you have the polio vaccination?”  If only it had been around when I was growing up; another one said “if you had polio in 1955 you must be well over it by now”.  Both statements hurtful, but you get used to them.  And learn to tell the NHS what you need – in simple language that their brains can take in!

And things are improving;  when I needed an EMG (nerve test) king’s College ‘supplied’ me with a nurse who had experience of nursing polio patients, to ride ‘shot gun’ over the technician doing the test – she would tell him what would cause me distress, and instead of me climbing the wall with shooting pains, it was a pain-free experience.

This week I had a marvellous meeting with a Hungarian-trained Physio in a Lymphoedema Clinic, who explained, simply and clearly, that  I was probably more susceptible to swelling because of long-term effects from Polio.  It made so much sense, but I nearly cried to find some who understood my conditions – and how they might impact on each other.

In future

Tell anyone who deals with you, and if they look blank, find someone who understands Polio.  The NHS tries to brush polio aside. but in the States their data acknowledges that they have over 3,000,000 million polio survivors.  So my workings out on the back of an envelope says that there are probably 600,000 of us in Britain – but we are ignored because we are used to getting on with things ourselves.


Was interested to be told that not only was dry, itchy skin usual for those of us with Lymphoedemia, but if we had had Polio, it was even more important that we kept out skin moisturised, as we wee even more likely to have compromised skin.

We then had a “girly chat” about remedies – Flexitol products got thumbs up, as these Australian-developed balms can be obtained FREE on prescription – doctors just have to be told to look them up in the BNF.

And we discussed other countries who also make skin products that have been developed in conjunction with cancer centres and associations:

New Zealand – Living Nature

France – La Roche Posay

USA – iS Clinical

All can be obtained in better-class Chemists, and from top Dermatologists in Harley Street.  Sadly, these last ones all have to be paid for – hopefully one day we will get them on our health service too.

Find information

NHS Choices = USELESS.  Their information only relates to PPS (Post Polio Syndrome) which is a further complication, but most people just have long-term effects from ‘simple’ polio.

111 – worse than useless!  What do we pay the NHS for I wonder?

Best support and information comes from:



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