Linda Kilburn, in her mid-50s, lives with her husband, David, near York. A private MRI revealed a two-inch kidney tumor.
"My husband, David, hadn't been doing much exercise and had gained weight, so when a friend mentioned they had been for a scan to check their health. I thought it would be a good idea for David to go along for something similar. He wasn't too keen, so I joined him on sufferance really because I knew he wouldn't go without me. I didn't think I needed it really.
We read up on the options available and decided to travel to London to visit Prescan in Harley Streets. The whole process took a couple of hours and my body was scanned in about five sections that each take between seven and 15 minutes, so it didn't feel like I was inside the machine for too long. I became a little claustrophobic at one point but there's a button inside the machine that you can press at any time to bring you out. If anything, it was boring. We were given a CD of our scans and told a consultant would review them and call us with the results. I'm quite hard to pin down, so it was a week before we spoke on the phone. The doctor was really good, talking me through each section and explaining what the MRI had shown. It all sounded fine until she told me she had spotted a growth on one of my kidneys. She didn't scare me by saying she thought it might be cancer but she did recommend I made an immediate appointment with my GP, which concerned me enough to book one for that very evening.
Everything moved very fast from there. I was referred to a specialist who confirmed that there was a two-inch tumor on my kidney. David and I were devastated. We never imagined it would have been me who had a problem – David's result were fine. Thankfully, because of its size and position they were able to operate to remove the lump and only needed to take away about 20 per cent of my kidney. I didn't even need radiotherapy. The urologist told me I was extremely lucky because cancer of the kidney is hard to detect and most people don't realize they have the disease until it is very advanced. If it had been left unchecked then my tumor could have become life-threatening within 12 months and this story would have a very different ending."