After struggling with a hearing problem, local man Brian Russell is extremely grateful to a Bloxwich hearing centre for its help in diagnosing a rare type of cancer.
Mr Russell, a former warehouse worker from Bloxwich, was having trouble hearing from his left ear so made an appointment at the Specsavers hearing centre on the High Street. The 59-year-old was seen by audiology director, Jed Dee, who examined his ears and found he had conductive hearing loss. Although hearing aids might have temporarily corrected Mr Russell’s hearing, Jed referred him to his GP surgery, as well as requesting an onward referral to the Ear, Nose and Throat department at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, for further investigation.
‘The staff at New Cross told me I had glue ear, a build-up of fluid in the ear canal, so fitted grommets to drain it,’ says Mr Russell. ‘They also took a biopsy and when the results came back, I was devastated to hear I had nasopharyngeal cancer.’
Nasopharyngeal cancer is a rare type of head and neck cancer, affecting around only 240 people in the UK each year. Following the news, Mr Russell had to undergo chemotherapy and then radiotherapy until late last year, but happily was given the all clear in February.
‘It’s hard to explain the feeling when you get the good news,’ continued Mr Russell. ‘After battling cancer for more than three years I was over the moon to hear I had the all clear. And to think, I may not have been so lucky if I hadn’t been to Specsavers for a hearing test.’
Jed said: ‘When Mr Russell originally came in, he was adamant that hearing aids would solve the problem. As Specsavers audiologists, we genuinely care about our customers' wellbeing and prognosis, and we never take chances which is why I thought Mr Russel’s hearing loss needed further investigation.’
Mr Russell said: ‘One thing that’s really important to me is that the staff at Specsavers didn’t just give me hearing aids and send me on my way. I am so grateful for that because if they had, I might not have been diagnosed and got the life-saving treatment I needed.
‘I used to think when it came to specs and hearing aids that people just wanted money. Well, Jed went above and beyond to make sure I received the right care and thanks to him and the hospital staff, I’m lucky to be alive.’
Jed said: ‘We’re just so pleased that Mr Russell has now been treated and fully recovered. His story serves as a valuable reminder to get regular hearing checks, as soon as you notice anything wrong with your ears.’