A WOMAN who is undergoing palliative care is pleading with others to spot the early signs of cancer before it is too late.

Samantha Horne, 48, became only the third patient at Broomfield Hospital to be diagnosed with rare neuroendocrine tumours back in January after she became unwell at work.

The disease typically affects people in their 60s and regularly sees tumours and cells grow in organs like the stomach, bowel and lungs.

Mrs Horne, who lives in Cressing and has four children, had been suffering with a lack of appetite and general fatigue for a number of months prior to her diagnosis and had initially been told the symptoms were caused by a problem with her gallbladder.

But several tests and scans later revealed a number of tumours and cancer cells had grown in her pancreas and spread to other nearby organs, including her liver.

Mrs Horne said: “It can only be treated by the Royal Free Hospital in London. It’s treatable but not curable.

“They have asked every surgeon in the country to operate but they have all said no because of the risk of me bleeding to death.

“The only thing they can do is give me chemotherapy but they can’t stop it.

“It was a massive shock when I found out. I’m quite lucky, I have a big family who have all been very supportive but it has put a strain on us all.”

Mrs Horne, who is a healthcare assistant at the Priory in Chelmsford, is awaiting key results next week which will determine whether her latest round of chemotherapy is helping to slow the spread of tumours.

Despite not yet knowing how long she has left to live, she admits she sees everyday as “a bonus” and has already completed a number of bucket list activities such as a skydive.

And she is now desperate to spread her story in a bid to warn others of neuroendocrine tumours and the serious impact they can have on people’s lives.

She added: “My cancer is very rare, which is why not many people will have heard of it. I want people to know about it and know they should get checked out if they have any of the symptoms.

“I ignored it and now it’s too late for me.

“I had warning signs but just carried on as normal as if nothing was happening. I was having difficulty breathing, which is another one of the symptoms, but didn’t think anything of it.

“People might think it doesn’t look like there is anything wrong with them but that doesn’t mean you’re fine. You wouldn’t look at me and think I have cancer.

“It’s so important to catch it early and to stop it from spreading.”

Mrs Horne’s husband Robert and friend Charley Jewell are both having their hair shaved off to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. They are doing the brave the shave challenge at Costa Coffee in Chelmsford Retail Park on Saturday, September 14 and are both hoping to raise as much money as possible in Mrs Horne’s honour.

To sponsor them, visit bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/robert-horne or bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/charly-jewell.