Teen cancer survivor backs campaign

A 13 year-old who has just passed the five-year free from cancer milestone is backing a national bone cancer campaign.

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Francesca's inspirational journey

Francesca before she was diagnosed with primary bone cancer
Francesca during her treatment
Francesca after a charity run with sister Elsa
...And Francesca collecting the Diana Award for her bravery and charity work

These pictures show Francesca's transition from a "normal" seven-year-old, to the gruelling treatment stage where her femur and knee were replaced with a metal rod, and finally back to a healthy teenager who uses her experience to raise money for charity.

She says if more research is dome and awareness is raised, this could be the story for other children too.

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Teen survivor warns "symptoms can be dismissed"

In most cancers, the survival rate has risen steadily over the years. But bone cancer is a different story. It mainly affects children and young people, and the survival rate has remained the same for the past 25 years.

More than 450 people are diagnosed with primary bone cancer each year and only about half will survive the next five years.

13-year-old Francesca, from Cullingworth in West Yorkshire, says she was lucky, as it took just a few days to get a diagnosis after she visited her doctor when she was seven.

Symptoms include pain, for example in the leg, which often gets worse at night and better during the day.

And this is the reason parents, and GPs, often dismiss the symptoms: they attribute it to "growing pains".

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