1. ITV Report

Student’s fight for cancer treatment unavailable on NHS

Scott Stinson and girlfriend Becky are desperately hoping immunotherapy abroad can save his life. Credit: UTV

A young Co Down man who has already lost an arm to cancer is trying to access potentially life-saving treatment abroad that is not available on the NHS.

Chemistry graduate Scott Stinson was studying for a PHD in Scotland when he was diagnosed with bone cancer after suffering shoulder pains he initially thought had been caused by exercise in the gym.

“I was very happy with my life and I had all these goals and aspirations in place,” he told UTV.

“I had a real sort of direction, places that I wanted to go and things I wanted to achieve.

“But then once you get that diagnosis, everything’s put on hold.”

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Scott had to have his right arm amputated to remove the primary tumour, but the cancer had spread to his lungs and is inoperable.

Terminally ill, there is no treatment available on the NHS for Scott’s particular type of cancer.

But after researching how immunotherapy could potentially save his life, the 25-year-old has launched a fundraising campaign for treatment abroad.

I’ve got a lot more to offer than to just be the young man with cancer.

– Scott Stinson

Scott added that he has to come to terms with the gravity of his situation every time he wakes up, but he remains determined to fight for life.

“My escape was when I was asleep,” he said.

“And when I woke up, I had to realise... You know that few seconds before you really realise where you are? And then I’m like: ‘Wow, I’ve got cancer, it’s really bad, I’m in a lot of pain…’

“And having to go through that realisation every day, it was difficult.

“But then I think you kind of make your peace with it.”

Scott and Becky before his cancer diagnosis. Credit: Family photo

Scott has been in contact with people who, like him, were also diagnosed with osteosarcoma, went through amputations, and found the cancer had spread to their lungs.

But they underwent immunotherapy, for example, in the United States.

“And they’re in remission for also a year now,” Scott said.

“So it’s not impossible or something that is just a wild stab in the dark – it’s something that I believe could help me.”