This is my story: I've got cancer

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As people with learning disabilities live longer, and the incidence of cancer is rising, it is of increasing importance to understand the lived cancer experience of this group. Consideration of the viewpoints of people with learning disabilities themselves will facilitate the development of cancer support services that are appropriate and sensitive to their needs. This paper presents preliminary findings of an ethnographic study into the experiences of people with learning disabilities who have cancer. One of the study participants, John Davies (who has mild learning disabilities), relates his cancer experience in his own words. Having ignored his symptoms until it was too late, he now urges others to go to the doctor as soon as possible. The study is ongoing, but findings to date highlight the importance of listening to the story of people's lives and illness.

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