A HEREFORDSHIRE woman who has been battling cancer which spread from her bowel to her lungs has told of the big change she wants to see.

Lucy Hilton, from Longtown, between Hereford and Abergavenny, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2020 at the age of just 45.

Since her diagnosis, she has endured a bowel reconstruction, the fitting of a stoma, a liver reconstruction, six months of chemo, a stoma reversal, a second liver reconstruction and more gruelling chemotherapy.

In January 2022, she received a clear scan, but despite four operations and over 25 cycles of chemotherapy, scans a couple of months later showed that the cancer had returned to the liver and had spread to her lungs and lymph nodes.


Mrs Hilton is now receiving palliative care and receiving targeted treatment to attempt to suppress the growth of the disease.

The cancer had mutated into the BRAF mutant gene (v600E).

A change to this gene can cause it to make an overactive BRAF protein. This makes cells grow and divide too fast.

Doctors know that people with BRAF positive bowel cancer don't respond as well to treatment, but Mrs Hilton wants people to get any changes to their bowel habits checked out as soon as possible.

Researchers have been looking at different ways of treating this type of bowel cancer.

She is keen to raise as much awareness as possible as early detection is the key to survival with this form of cancer.

Mrs Hilton said: "I want to raise awareness into not only the dangers of bowel cancer but of it spreading through the BRAF mutation gene, which we all have in our bodies but very little is known about."

Mrs Hilton has emphasised the importance of catching bowel cancer early, saying it is vital to slow the disease.

She said: "Early detection can be quite tricky as symptoms can be quite similar to irritable bowel syndrome, especially in the early stages.

"Any changes in your bowel habits, unexplained loss of weight, extreme tiredness, a lump in your stomach or blood in your stools, I implore people to get it checked out."

To help raise money and awareness for Bowel Cancer UK, Lucy's sister Nicky Abraham, from Llanegwad, near Swansea in South Wales, is cycling over 100 miles around the island of Anglesey on Sunday, August 21.

Mrs Abraham said: "The potential pain of a century ride will pale into insignificance, when I think of all that Lucy has endured.

"It is a privilege to be her sister, her strength, steely determination, and grace in the face of everything she has endured is nothing short of inspirational."

For more information on Nicky's fundraising visit her JustGiving page.