A patient at Colchester Hospital wants to share her story about the cancer "no one talks about".

Caroline Hyde, a 53-year-old mother of four from Clacton, was diagnosed with anal cancer in October 2022 after initially fearing she had bowel cancer.

Her treatment involved radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and she was also part of the PLATO ACT5 research study examining effective treatment options for those in her position.

She explained how a dependence on a donut cushion and the constant need to stand up due to sitting discomfort were just the tip of her experience.

Her diagnosis sparked an operation to fit a stoma bag just before Christmas 2022, an experience she found positive as it was a necessary step towards her much-needed treatment.

As part of her participation in the PLATO ACT5 study, Ms Hyde had no certainty about whether she would be given the standard or increased level of radiotherapy treatment.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Despite her natural inclination for the increased dose, she opted for a positive perspective on her involvement with the study.

She expressed gratitude for the constant contact she received from her research nurse, Celine, throughout her treatment.

Her fight against cancer was supported significantly by her family, who treated her as normal and kept spirits high with laughter.

She insisted on sustaining her normality by working from her school office and even her bed when it came to it.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Caroline Hyde, a 53-year-old from Clacton, was diagnosed with anal cancer in October 2022

Ms Hyde said: "I’m really pleased to say I’ve had the absolutely wonderful news that I’m now cancer-free."

Inspired by Deborah James - also known as Bowel Babe - she took to social media outlet TikTok to share her journey, as she believes more individuals need to be enlightened about anal cancer.

She will continue to undergo regular scans to ensure the disease remains at bay.

The PLATO ACT5 study which aided Caroline's recovery process was designed to ascertain whether a higher dose of radiotherapy is more effective in treating more advanced anal cancer.

Having recruited 459 participants whose participation will be followed up, the first results of the trial are expected to be shared in 2025.

Radiographer Celine Driscoll said: "Caroline has done incredibly well to get through the treatment the way she has".

Oncology consultant Sadaf Usman lauded such studies as shedding light on lesser-known cancers.